If you’ve been researching what it takes to dissolve a marriage, the word "mediation" has probably come up now again. Today, mediation is one of the most popular ways to end a marriage, offering individuals a less stressful, cost-effective alternative to divorce.
But is mediation right for you? Well, there’s only one way to find out. Today, we’re going over what exactly mediation is, and why you may want to consider it as a possible means of dissolving your marriage.
What Is Mediation?
Before we go further, let’s define mediation quickly.
In mediation, two parties who wish to dissolve their marriage meet with a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator works with the parties to help them negotiate mutually beneficial terms for the divorce.
Parties can choose to self-represent themselves during mediation or hire a consulting attorney to help them protect their rights. Mediations often occur over a relatively short timeframe, sometimes lasting as little as one session. During mediation, the parties negotiate equitable terms for various divorce-related processes such as property division, child custody, child and spousal support, etc., that would otherwise be determined in the courtroom.
With that said and done, let’s go over some reasons you may want to consider mediation before pursuing your divorce in court.
You Want a Cost-Effective Alternative to Divorce
The average divorce in the US costs around $15,000, but can go up to several hundred thousand dollars, and much of that money usually goes towards legal fees associated with litigating a divorce in court. If you carry out your divorce in court, you need to pay legal fees for attorney appearances, which can quickly rack up costs.
Because in-court divorces are almost always more contentious than out-of-court alternatives, litigating a divorce in court almost always takes more time—and therefore costs more money—than using an out-of-court method of alternative dispute resolution, like mediation.
You Want to Minimize Conflict with Your Soon-to-Be-Ex
Mediation is also a great way to minimize conflict with your spouse as you dissolve your marriage, which is why many courts actually require divorcees to engage in mediation before pursuing a divorce in court.
Mediation is focused on enabling good-faith compromises to occur between two parties that allow both spouses to get what they want from the divorce—a win-win agreement. In contrast, trying to resolve a divorce in court tends to be more combative, leading to situations where one spouse tries to "get back" at the other.
If you work with your soon-to-be-ex or share a child with them, you may want to preserve an amicable relationship post-divorce, so you don’t jeopardize your career or relationship with your child. Mediation can help you achieve those goals.
Since mediation helps de-escalate conflict by its very nature, it also tends to be less stressful than pursuing an in-court divorce, helping make the divorce process a more positive experience overall.
You Know What You Want from the Divorce
As we mentioned earlier, mediation usually occurs over a relatively short timeframe. This makes it a great alternative to an in-court divorce for spouses who know what they want from the divorce and want to dissolve their marriage more quickly.
Because mediation focuses on allowing both parties to get what they want from a divorce, you’re also more likely to walk away from your mediation satisfied than if you pursue your divorce in court (in many cases).
You should speak with a trained mediation lawyer to learn more about mediation and decide whether it’s right for you. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our mediation attorneys help clients find the best path forward as they dissolve their marriage, enabling them to live a happier, healthier life post-divorce.
To schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about how we can help you start the next chapter of your life using mediation, contact us online or via phone at }.