There is no question that divorce is among the most stressful events you can go through. It means the separation of your life from your spouse’s, the division of your assets and the difficult decisions related to your children and pets. Divorce may bring challenges to your life emotionally, financially and perhaps even professionally, and it seems to many couples that the longer the divorce process takes, the more conflict and contention arise.
Fortunately, there is a way to minimize those stressors and reach a fair and equitable resolution to your marriage breakup. If you and your spouse choose to use mediation for your divorce instead of litigation, you may discover the process has the potential to be much less adversarial, faster, cheaper and better for everyone in the long run.
How can I benefit from mediation?
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that involves you and your spouse bringing your conflicts and issues before a trained, neutral third party, a mediator. The mediator is not like a judge and does not make decisions like an arbitrator. Instead, you and your spouse discuss the issues between you, and the mediator guides your discussions, keeps you on track and uses gentle tactics to steer you away from fruitless arguments.
The trick to a successful mediation is for you and your spouse to make honest disclosures and to have the goal of a fair resolution for both of you. You will likely meet more than once to discuss and negotiate a settlement. Some issues may resolve quickly, and others may take more work. However, couples who use mediation often cite the following benefits:
- The process is confidential, unlike litigated divorce, which is a matter of public record.
- You, not a judge, have more control over the terms that are best for your family.
- Mediation may improve communication skills that are critical for many post-divorce parents.
- You are not bound to the cookie-cutter solutions of the courts.
- Your relationship with your ex is more likely to be amicable rather than contentious, as often happens after litigation.
The focus of mediation is not necessarily winning but rather reaching workable agreements. Because of this, you and your spouse may be more willing to compromise. Mediation is often a more positive process than litigation for parents, who may have to continue a relationship with each other while raising the children. However, you may find that your own peace of mind is intact after mediation, and this may improve your chances of a happy post-divorce life.