Divorce is a difficult and emotionally distressing time for everyone involved. Even if the couple is amicable, the dissolution of a marriage brings up emotions that can sometimes be unexpected. In addition to the emotional aspect of divorce, the legal part of divorce is difficult to navigate on your own, so most people hire attorneys to help them through it.
There are several ways to go about dissolving a marriage. The traditional adversarial method is the type that you probably imagine. In that process, the parties hire their attorneys to file pleadings on their behalf to reach a final agreement or, if necessary, to go to trial.
There is a non-adversarial way to handle divorce, and that is through mediating your divorce. Mediation is one kind of alternative dispute resolution and can be highly beneficial for the parties. You can still hire an attorney and have them negotiate on your behalf. Still, its benefits are often much more significant than going to court.
Benefits of mediation
- It is non-adversarial. This means the couple can talk about their issues without the fighting that often occurs in court via pleadings. Mediation aims for the parties to discuss what is most important to them. If the parties do not do well in the same room, the mediator can have each client in a separate room. Attorneys are also beneficial in mediation proceedings because they can negotiate on your behalf with their experience.
- It is private. Anything that goes through the court system is a public record. In contrast, anything discussed in mediation is 100% confidential and non-binding unless the parties reach an agreement, which allows the parties to feel free to talk and attempt to settle their case without the concern of others watching or reading about them.
- Mediation is efficient and much less time-consuming than going through the courts. While it might take a few full days to mediate a case fully, that is substantially less time than it would take you if you decide to litigate your divorce case.
- The divorcing couple can choose the mediator, which is incredibly beneficial because they can ensure this is a genuinely impartial third party.
- Mediation aims for both parties to win instead of having one win and the other lose. It is a method that tries to get the parties to give and take or compromise, a concept we all have to accept in our everyday lives anyway.
When thinking about how you will proceed with your divorce, consider your many options and if you have any questions, your attorney will be able to answer them.
While attorneys are not required to mediate a divorce case, it can be helpful unless the parties are genuinely amicable and know precisely how they will divide everything.
Mediation is a highly effective method of solving problems. Still, both parties must attend mediation in good faith. If there is ill will between the parties, an attorney acting in good faith can work that out with the mediator.