When a spouse files for divorce, they sign up to face several challenges. Spouses must manage property division, sorting living arrangements and potentially drafting parenting plans for children. Many couples may also find working together toward a resolution quite difficult.
Sometimes the conflict between spouses necessitates a courtroom divorce. However, more couples are turning toward mediation to resolve divorce disputes and create functioning family plans.
Benefits of a mediated divorce
Mediation is a legal process by which many civil disputes resolve. Sometimes ruled for by a judge, disputing parties may request mediation. Judges will often grant these requests to free up court schedules and prioritize cases with higher stakes.
Couples who use mediation for divorce can expect the following benefits:
- Confidentiality: Many couples may not know that divorce cases become matters of public record. Court reporters record everything said in a courtroom for posterity and reference for future disputes. With mediated negotiations, only the drafted resolution matters.
- Choice of mediator: A couple will together choose their neutral mediator. This individual will work with each party to negotiate the resolution using empathy and compromise. Mediators will guide the discussion toward a mutually beneficial resolution to which both parties agree.
- Easier scheduling: A couple can schedule a mediation session at their convenience, and not at the whims of a court calendar. Litigated divorce proceedings may take months or even years to schedule. Mediation can take place in any neutral location that works for the involved parties.
- More affordable: Mediated proceedings do not incur courtroom fees or require courtroom personnel. Attorneys often charge reduced rates for mediation work, and some courts may pay for a mediator’s fees.
- Better results: Spouses who work together through mediation also draft better resolutions. A mediator teaches disputing parties communication tools that help them better understand each other’s concerns and desires. Using these tools, spouses can find common ground and understanding needed to draft satisfactory resolutions. These skills may also help co-parents work together for the benefit of their family.
Consider working with an attorney
Spouses considering divorce can bring their questions to a local attorney familiar with divorce mediation. They can provide answers and guidance on divorce preparation and how best to utilize mediation for asset division, parenting agreements and more.