Happy New Year! We hope you have had a chance to rest, recharge, and prepare for whatever is to come in 2023. If one of those things is divorce, we also hope you took our suggestions last month about New Year’s resolutions. Divorce is never easy, but approaching it with mutual respect and consideration can make it easier. For most couples, a collaborative process like mediation is the best way to do this. Before deciding if the benefits of mediation apply to your case, be sure to learn all you can about the process. Over the next few months, we will help you do that by reviewing the basics. In this post, we will share some of the benefits of mediation for divorce.
When compared to litigation, mediation can offer many benefits. Here are just a few of them:
Mediation Can Save You Money.
When divorce issues end up in court, costs add up rapidly. Attorneys must spend hours on formal discovery, document preparation, and court appearances. Parties may need to pay expert witnesses for detailed reports and court time as well. The more unresolved issues a couple has, the higher the costs. While you will still need to pay your mediator and your consulting attorneys in divorce mediation, this is usually much less expensive than turning matters over to a judge and hiring attorneys to handle everything.
Mediation Can Save You Time.
Court backlogs and the need to file paperwork according to specific timelines can vastly extend the time required to obtain a divorce. If your spouse is not cooperative, this can drag things out even longer. Mediation allows you to settle matters as quickly as you like. In many cases, you can complete your entire divorce in just a few short months.
Mediation Allows You to Retain Control.
Mediation allows spouses to propose out-of-the-box solutions and craft settlement terms uniquely suited to their personal situations. Only the terms that both of you agree to and put into writing will be binding. By contrast, family court judges generally stick to solutions that tend to work best for most families but may not suit your own case at all. Judges do not have the time to delve into the details of every case that comes before them. You will be bound by whatever the court orders.
Mediation Can Protect Your Family’s Privacy.
When a divorce case is litigated, many court records become public. Couples who wish to protect their privacy to the maximum extent possible often prefer mediation because there are no public records of mediation sessions. This feature tends to appeal to anyone who is concerned with maintaining their privacy and reputation. It is especially attractive to families with children and to public figures.
Mediation Can Limit Stress and Anxiety.
Divorce requires restructuring a family. Even when both parties agree that this is the best solution, it is likely to be an anxiety-producing event. Litigation in any context is a highly stressful process. It involves taking antagonistic positions and often, watching costs balloon out of control. By contrast, mediation can restore a sense of control. Even if you are not successful at resolving all your issues, taking even a few things off the table can reduce stress and anxiety dramatically.
Mediation Can Protect Your Children.
Children are especially likely to be innocent victims of the divorce process. Watching conflict between their parents can be unbearable for children. When parents come together to reach agreements, especially agreements regarding child custody and support matters, children benefit immensely.
Mediation Can Fit in With Other Divorce Methods.
Many divorcing couples recognize the benefits of mediation early on. Others decide to try it after first attempting other approaches. Starting another way does not prevent you from switching to mediation later. Often mediation is the logical next step in a natural progression. In our next post, we will explore this topic further.
If you are ready to consider mediation for your divorce, contact one of our experienced and compassionate divorce mediators today.