When faced with ending their marriage, many couples assume that the next step is the traditional divorce in court.
However, mediation is an alternative to litigation that continues to rise in popularity. What are the benefits of this divorce option?
Confidentiality and control
Whereas your divorce in court is public, mediation is a private option. No judge is present and there will be no public record of the process. You and your soon-to-be-ex have control over the outcome, which leads to more durable agreements. Parties who engage in mediation are less likely to return to court than those who choose to litigate their divorce.
Communication and compromise
Open communication is key in mediation. The mediator, a neutral third party, will ensure that both you and your spouse have the freedom to express your opinions and concerns. You will employ teamwork and compromise to create a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to you both. The mediator will keep discussions on track and will offer guidance to help you resolve sticking points.
Preparation and information
Mediation is normally a faster and less expensive process than litigation and you can make it go even more smoothly with advance preparation. You must gather financial information such as checking and savings account statements; investment, retirement account and pension information; credit card statements; tax returns; and valuations for real property, vehicles and boats. Keep in mind that the financial information you put together for mediation will be helpful to you in the post-divorce world since you will have a better idea of what you need to live on.
Better for children
Mediation is less adversarial than litigation. Because of the reduced stress and more respectful atmosphere, it is easier for children to manage. For many couples, this is the best reason to choose mediation.