Divorce is rarely an easy process. Not only can it be challenging to fairly divide assets, but strong emotions can impair decision-making and communication. A court case only complicates matters, as litigation is usually a lengthy and stressful event. Divorcing parties, especially those with children, have found success with mediation instead.
Finding a compromise
The goal of mediation is to find common ground. Though often difficult, keeping this perspective helps build a productive framework. To assist in mediation, each party might seek consultation from an attorney. These attorneys will guide the negotiations and work together to draw up the divorce agreement. Having a third-party representative can help divorcing couples prioritize fairness, diffuse tension and stay focused.
Advantages of mediation
Mediation also grants several other benefits not found in a courtroom:
- Confidentiality: While court cases are matters of public record, mediation is often confidential. This can keep the painful things sometimes said during heated negotiations private.
- Lower cost: Without court fees, mediation cases are generally free-of-charge, outside of securing counsel. However, those attorney fees are often lower.
- A speedy resolution: Court rulings can take years to decide. A mediation involving two motivated parties could resolve in a few days or even hours.
- A personal decision: In court, a judge or jury might arbitrate a resolution. In mediation, both parties design and agree to the resolution themselves. This increases the likelihood that both parties will keep their end of the bargain.
- Direct communication: Depending on the type of mediation employed, divorcing parties should try to speak directly to each other. This helps build healthy and honest communication habits that can be used in future dealings with an ex.
A two-party solution
Mediation may be objectively easier but it is not without challenges. Divorcing parties who embrace mediation often find satisfactory resolutions. Exhibiting an open and even enthusiastic attitude can ease decision making and allow for the possibility of a healthy relationship post-divorce. Additionally, seeing their parents approach this difficult process with a positive attitude can help children understand and navigate their new family dynamic.