Divorce is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions that a couple makes in their marriage. It affects them, their children, their families and everyone around them. In addition, the legal aspect of divorce is costly and complicated.
When couples are unable to agree on anything regarding the division of assets, child custody and all other aspects of the divorce, litigation may be the most logical solution for them. For other people, however, people who are willing to work with each other through an impartial third party, mediation is an excellent alternative.
The benefits of mediation are many, including:
- It is a private process, so anything that occurs in mediation does not become public.
- It is more efficient and less time-consuming than going to court.
- It is much less expensive than litigating a divorce which could take months or even years.
You may be wondering what mediation is. Perhaps you’ve never heard of it, or you’ve heard very little about it. Let’s go into what mediation is and how it works.
What is mediation?
- Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
- Mediation is an alternative to going to court.
How does mediation work?
- The parties, their attorneys and the mediator get together for a session or number of sessions.
- The role of the mediator is to facilitate an amicable conversation between the parties.
- The parties can select the mediator.
- The mediator’s job is also to help the parties identify what their priorities are, what is most important to them and in what areas they are willing to compromise.
- The mediator does not make decisions for the parties and neither do the attorneys.
- The parties can end the mediation at any time and can choose to go through litigation. It is important to note that most states now require divorcing couples to attempt mediation before going to trial.
- Mediation sessions can take place with the opposing parties in the same room or separate rooms, with the mediator going back and forth.
- Now, mediation can take place online via internet video platforms, which allows greater flexibility if the parties are not in the exact physical location.
The process of divorce can take a toll on the parties and their families, which is essential to consider. There are alternatives to the adversarial process of litigation and mediation is an excellent tool for people who want to work through their issues amicably and between themselves.