If you and your spouse are pursuing an amicable divorce, going through litigation may not make sense. No matter what your feelings are toward each other, you may both be clear communicators and able to work together.
If you have children, you may want to avoid a contentious process to protect them, too. In these cases, mediation may be your solution.
Yet, it’s important to understand both its benefits and drawbacks before moving forward with it.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation is a dispute resolution process where a neutral third party – the mediator – can help both spouses reach an agreement. Mediators are trained to help couples avoid conflict, find points of agreement and reach an amicable resolution to their divorce in a timely manner.
Mediation makes sense if you hope to keep a peaceful relationship with your spouse, especially if there are children in the picture. By pursuing an amicable divorce, you two will serve as role models and display a united front despite your differences.
If you are also looking to reduce divorce expenses, mediation is typically far more affordable than litigation. And you may find that mediation gives you more control over your divorce, too, since you and your spouse are making decisions rather than the court. Yet, you two will still need any legal aspects of your agreement finalized by a judge before they are binding.
What are the challenges of mediation?
By choosing mediation, you and your spouse may run the risk of not reaching an agreement. Your mediator will not provide you legal advice and will only help you work toward a resolution.
Furthermore, mediation requires transparency from both parties, since all disclosures are voluntary. If there’s any chance your spouse is hiding assets, their failure to report them may prevent you from receiving your fair share.
Nonetheless, mediation may prove a worthwhile option for keeping the peace during your divorce. If you pursue this route, an attorney with family law experience can help you through the process.