Today, couples are turning toward mediation over litigation to resolve their divorce disputes. Mediation is often cheaper and faster than traditional courtroom litigation. Many couples find mediation produces more satisfying resolutions as well.
Often, a judge may even rule that certain parts of divorce go to mediation. How does mediation work for divorce and how can one benefit?
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process where two disputing parties mutually agree to a legally binding resolution. The process differs significantly from traditional civil cases which generally rely on courtroom litigation, presented evidence and a judge’s ruling. Mediation is different in the following ways:
- Mediator: Both parties agree on a third-party mediator to direct the proceedings. A mediator will guide a conversation between two disputing parties, helping each side listen to the other’s concerns and promoting understanding. The mediator’s job is to help the disputing parties reach a resolution upon which they both agree.
- Easier scheduling: Mediation does not rely on courtroom schedules or personnel and can happen in almost any agreed-upon location.
- Less expensive: Since mediation does not require a courtroom, court fees are considerably less. Attorney rates for mediation are generally lower as well.
- Preserve the relationship: Many disputing parties may find a litigated resolution dissatisfying and bring those resentful emotions into the relationship. With mediation, both parties agree to the decision before it becomes legally binding. Resolutions that rely on compromise and mutual satisfaction can help disputing parties maintain a respectful relationship, which can be particularly beneficial for families and children.
- Confidential proceedings: Unlike litigation, which enters everything said into the public record, mediation proceedings are confidential.
Seek legal counsel for more information
Mediation can help couples in many ways beyond the proceedings. For those with children, mediation can teach co-parents communication skills that may benefit their relationship for years. Anyone with questions about filing for divorce or the mediation process may find answers with a local attorney familiar with divorce.