A typical litigation process for divorce can be stressful and expensive. While it is a necessary part in dissolving some marriages, many couples may benefit from an alternative type of dispute resolution. Mediation is one litigation alternative that is available.
In mediation, a neutral person, called a mediator, will help facilitate you and your spouse reaching an agreement on the parts of your divorce that you do not already agree on. The mediator will likely meet with each spouse independently before meeting with you both together. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on a particular issue, you will not be forced to agree, and you can still take that issue to court to be resolved.
Divorce mediation may be a good choice for you and your spouse, if you two:
- Have a respectful relationship with each other
- Are able to effectively communicate in a mature way
- Are both interested in avoiding the stress of litigation
Benefits to mediation
Mediation offers many benefits to divorcing couples. It is often a quicker and more cost-effective way to resolve conflicts than litigation is. Most couples spend 40 percent to 60 percent less money on mediation than they would have on divorce.
Mediation is also more private than divorce is. This is because mediation does not show up on public record like court cases do.
Mediation can be better tailored to the needs of the couple than litigation can be. Because it allows more creative solutions to disagreements, it can lead to each person receiving more of the items they really want out of the divorce.
It is typically also less stressful than litigation for the couple. As a result, it can also create a less stressful home environment for any children the couple may have. A peaceful divorce process can also help create a less stressful co-parenting situation after the divorce is finalized.
Divorce litigation is usually appropriate in complex or contentious situations. However, it is not required for all divorces. If you and your spouse have a respectful relationship and would like to end your marriage on the most peaceful terms possible, mediation may be the most appropriate option for you.