Divorce is often a complicated and emotional process. However, for couples willing to work together to handle the process amicably, mediation might be a good option. Couples that choose mediation as opposed to litigation for settling the terms of their divorce can save both time and money since they avoid time in court.
Mediation is a collaborative process with less conflict. It gives couples more control over the outcome as they’re more involved in the process with a greater say over negotiations. And because it’s settled out of court, it’s confidential and private.
Role of a mediator
A mediator is a neutral party working toward finding a mutual decision for both sides and is more of a facilitator for discussion to reach a mutual agreement. Mediation is often done over days or weeks with the goal of meeting the needs of both clients. The mediator proposes ideas and decisions to both parties and doesn’t make a binding decision, but rather suggests and guides the potential outcome. Both spouses are encouraged to have legal representation to ensure a fair and acceptable result.
It’s important to come prepared for mediation with attention to the following:
- Gather and bring your financial information.
- Know what you want out of the process by doing your research ahead of time.
- Throughout the process, keep your emotions under control.
- Know your rights and responsibilities for mediation.
- Be willing to negotiate and compromise for the best outcome.
- Take an active role throughout the process.
Mediation isn’t an option for every couple. If soon-to-be-ex spouses don’t agree on the terms or there’s a lot of conflict and animosity, a trial and litigation is the better option.
However, if they can work together, it can be a successful way for spouses to settle their divorce. With low conflict, it’s a less stressful, and sometimes more rewarding way to terminate a marriage.