What are the benefits of mediation?
There are many benefits to trying mediation instead of litigation. Mediation is the right choice for you if you:
- Want to keep control of the divorce process
- Would like to keep the details confidential
- Want to keep your attorney fees and court costs as low as possible
- Want to keep the stress low, so you and your spouse aren’t constantly at each other’s throats
How does mediation help you keep control?
If you decide to take your divorce to court then you are putting the judge in the driver’s seat. Judges are smart, they work hard and do a good job, but they don’t know you, your circumstances, or the intricate details of your lives and the lives of your children. If the judge makes decisions about your future, it will be based on information they receive in a relatively limited amount of time during the trial or a hearing.
Once a judge makes a decision and an order is entered, you must do what they tell you or there can be severe penalties. This is why so many people choose to maintain control over their fates and resolve their matters through mediation. Sometimes, however, there is no alternative — one party simply refuses to settle, so the court is your only option. However, many divorce cases end with some kind of settlement, so you can just cut to the chase through mediation.
In mediation, you decide what terms you can live with, which ones are deal-breakers, and if your case will go to trial. You have the power to get the outcome you want without handing over the decision-making to a total stranger.
What makes mediation less stressful?
Mediation is less stressful than going to court for two reasons:
- When you go through a divorce there are often lots of hurt feelings and anger. So, if you decide to litigate your divorce, the confrontational nature of the process often puts people on the attack and the defensive. Litigation exaggerates all the negative feelings between the parties, and an atmosphere like this will often lead to outcomes that nobody wants. Mediation allows the couple to focus on an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. Even if they are deeply hurt with one another, many couples can work together in mediation because they know the end is in sight and they will be satisfied with the result.
- Mediation doesn’t cost as much as litigation. Legal fees for a standard divorce can be very expensive, depending upon the attitudes of the parties, their lawyers, the complexity of the issues, and the complexity of the assets. Mediation is usually only a fraction of the cost, so it won’t cripple a couple’s finances.