One out-of-court option for couples when it comes to tackling divorce issues is mediation. In divorce mediation, a couple meets with a neutral mediator and discusses divorce issues with the aim of trying to reach agreements on these issues.
As a note, the mediator is there to facilitate discussions between the parties, not to “rule” on the issues. So, in mediation, decision-making power remains with the parties, it does not go to the mediator.
There are many benefits mediation can have in a divorce. Examples of things divorcing couples may find attractive about the mediation process include:
- Its potential to lower divorce costs
- The increased control it gives parties
- Its ability to help with keeping divorce matters out of the public light
- The flexibility of the process
- The ability of the process to lead to creative divorce solutions
Now, there are some misconceptions out there about what kinds of divorcing couples can benefit from mediation. For one, some might assume this option is only for couples that still get along very amicably.
While an amicable relationship could help with making some aspects of mediation go smoothly, it is not a requirement for mediation to work. Couples that don’t get along very well could still benefit from this divorce litigation alternative.
A divorcing couple that is experiencing higher levels of conflict might worry about whether they would be able to actually reach agreements in mediation. An important thing to remember is that, in mediation, couples have help in their efforts to reach workable resolutions in their divorce. They have the mediator’s help in facilitating productive talks.
A mediator may be able to help divorcing couples who are experiencing higher amounts of conflict get past roadblocks that would otherwise keep them from being able to come to agreement on the issues. Also, the communication strategies learned in mediation could give higher-conflict divorcing couples tools they can use to help with getting past future disputes.
As this discussion underscores, there are a wide range of divorcing couples that may find the mediation process beneficial. When considering pursuing mediation, it can be important for divorcing individuals to have accurate information on the process so they can make a well-informed decision on whether mediation would be right for them. Getting skilled legal guidance on mediation can help with this.