Why More Couples are Opting for Mediation

Divorce is never easy. Even the most amicable of splits can be emotionally trying when it comes down to dealing with logistics. That stress is only compounded by lengthy and costly court proceedings.

The desire to alleviate the stressful formalities of traditional divorce proceedings is leading more and more couples to pursue alternative means of dispute resolution, like mediation.

When Is Mediation An Option?

Mediation is most ideal in situations where both parties are willing to negotiate and compromise with one another. While there will likely still be disagreements and points of contention that will need to be resolved during the mediation process, couples who are willing to try to work out these disagreements by communicating directly with one another will find the most success with mediation.

In some cases, however, litigation may be the only option. Trial is the most logical approach when one party insists on making unreasonable demands, refuses to negotiate, or when one party is particularly hostile to the other. These circumstances are common when issues of adultery, abuse, or abandonment are present. In these cases, mediation is less likely to be successful and court intervention becomes necessary.

How Divorce Mediation Works

Mediation is a means of resolving a dispute without resorting to court intervention. In the case of a divorce mediation, the couple agrees to sit down at a table and hammer out all the important issues surrounding the dissolution of their marriage in the presence of a mediator. These issues include matters such as dividing property and retirement, resolving custody and visitation matters, and agreeing on child and spousal support.

The presence of an impartial third party, known as a mediator, means that the couples are not negotiating these terms on their own. The role of the mediator is to preside over the discussions and facilitate communication between the parties. The mediator attempts to provide neutral guidance to both sides equally, and to help them draft a binding divorce agreement.

It is important to note that a mediator does not make rulings like a judge. It is the parties who ultimately make all the decisions. The mediator is there simply to make suggestions and help the process move forward to a successful resolution.

Typically the parties split the cost of mediation, but are free to agree to other arrangements. Once all the crucial issues are agreed and the parties sign an agreement evidencing the same, the divorce can proceed in a much quicker manner and at a significantly lower cost to the parties.

The Benefits of Mediation

Most couples who opt for divorce mediation do so because it is quicker and less expensive than going to court. However, there are other benefits to mediation:

  • Privacy: When you go to court, all of the facts of the divorce become part of the public record. Divorces can get ugly, and many people don’t want their dirty laundry aired for public consumption. In mediation, all proceedings are confidential and never enter the public record.
  • Control: In litigation, a judge has the final say. The opposite is true of mediation—in mediation, the spouses ultimately work out the details of the divorce settlement and reach an agreement. This means that the couple has much more control over the final outcome than they would in court.
  • Flexibility: Courts don’t care about your busy schedule. You have to be there whenever the judge tells you to be there. With mediation, you can work around your busy schedules and not put your daily lives on hold.

If you decide to proceed with mediation, it’s important to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side, protecting your rights and interests. Your lawyer will also serve as a disinterested advisor and negotiator when emotions are running high.

The experienced divorce attorneys at Select Law Partners are here to guide you through every step of the mediation process. With extensive experience in the divorce arena, we will ensure that your divorce proceedings go as quickly and painlessly as possible. Contact us today to discuss your situation and decide if divorce mediation is the right option for you.

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Matt Kurylo

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