When you hear the word divorce, do images of warring spouses and contentious courtroom battles come to mind? Unfortunately, today these types of scenarios are readily associated with the divorce process. In reality, however, many divorcing couples share the common goals of resolving divorce-related issues in a civil, timely and cost-efficient manner.
What Is Mediation?
For some divorcing spouses, mediation provides a favorable alternative to the traditional divorce process. Through the mediation process, divorcing spouses come together and meet face-to-face to discuss issues related to their divorce. The conversation is meant to be constructive and respectful in nature and is facilitated by an impartial third-party mediator.
It's important to understand that a mediator is not a judge and does not make any decisions with regard to the specifics of a divorce case. Rather, the mediator's role is to act as a facilitator and to help both parties find common ground and agree on a settlement that is mutually-beneficial and is tailored to meet their unique needs.
Why Choose Mediation?
When successful, the benefits of choosing mediation over litigation can be significant. This is often especially true when there are minor-aged children involved and parents plan to share future parenting responsibilities.
Here are five ways that divorcing couples can benefit from mediation:
1) Save time - While the timeframe of a traditional divorce case is determined by lawyers' schedules and the courtroom calendar, mediation discussions involve less coordination and issues may be resolved within two to three sessions.
2) Save money - With no court motions, petitions and inevitable delays; matters can be resolved faster and in a more cost-efficient manner.
3) Avoid conflicts - Spouses who choose mediation are more motivated and devoted to making the process work. In the vast majority of cases, mediation is therefore a less stressful and more productive process.
4) Take control - It's scary to leave major divorce-related decisions up to a judge who doesn't know you or your children. Through mediation, you have more say and control over how decisions are made and the related outcomes.
5) Shield children from conflict - Even when a marriage ends, children want and need to know that their parents can still cooperate and come together for their benefit. Through mediation, parents are not only able to resolve child custody issues, but they also pave the way for a successful future co-parenting relationship.
There's a better way to divorce
Even when spouses decide that they no longer wish to be married, they can still be respectful of one another and work to find common ground when it comes to dividing assets and making child custody and visitation agreement. Your divorce should reflect your values and who you are as a person and parent. Take control of your divorce by taking steps to learn more about mediation today.