If you and your spouse are ending your marriage, you may believe that the next step is a traditional divorce in court.
However, mediation is becoming increasingly popular among many divorcing couples due to its advantages over litigation.
Mediation takes place in less formal surroundings outside of court. You and your spouse will meet with a trained mediator who will oversee the process as the two of you work toward a divorce settlement agreement. Couples appreciate the privacy that mediation affords as compared to a public court proceeding. Mediation is less expensive than litigation. It also takes less time; for example, a mediated divorce may take 90 days rather than 12 to 18 months in court.
A mediator does not take sides but will encourage communication and cooperation between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Mediators keep the negotiations civil and on track, provide access to pertinent legal information and offer suggestions to help resolve sticking points. They make sure you and your spouse cover all points before drafting your final agreement.
Communication is not only essential during the mediation process, but couples also find that it helps to build a foundation for the new family structure once the divorce is final. While litigation can result in animosity and bitterness between couples, studies show that mediation is much easier on the children of the marriage. Since they control the outcome of their own divorce, couples who opt for divorce mediation are also less likely to reappear in court to make changes to the agreement they used teamwork to develop.