If you and your spouse are facing divorce, you are probably not looking forward to litigation and the prospect of a bitter court battle.
Mediation is an option that has gained in popularity because sessions occur outside of court and couples can work out their own divorce agreement without the interference of a judge.
Benefits of mediation
Mediated settlements take less time than litigation and the process is therefore normally less expensive. As compared with a divorce in court, which is a public process, mediation takes place privately in a less formal environment with no judge in attendance. Open communication between the parties is key and once established, it becomes an important part of new family interaction after the divorce is final.
Role of the mediator
The mediator is a neutral party whose job is to facilitate communication between the parties and ensure that the points made are clearly understood. When sticking points arise, the mediator helps to identify methods for resolution, provides helpful information about the legal system and explains how the court is likely to view certain issues.
Comparison with litigation
A traditional divorce in court can cost two to ten times more than mediation. There is also the emotional cost attached to litigation, especially for the children of the marriage. Whereas litigation is often accompanied by anxiety, mediation lowers the stress level for everyone concerned. This private, out-of-court process where parties control their own divorce, helps build a foundation for the future. It allows children to more easily overcome and accept the breakup of the family unit and helps everyone prepare for life in a post-divorce world.