Divorce is undoubtedly a challenging time for anyone involved. It's a time of emotional turmoil, financial strain, and significant life changes. But there's an alternative to traditional, adversarial divorce proceedings that many couples are now turning to— mediation. This method offers numerous benefits, making the divorce process faster, less expensive, and less contentious.
What Is the Goal of Divorce Mediation?
The primary objective of this method is to facilitate open communication and mutual agreement on sensitive matters, such as property division, child custody, and financial settlements, without resorting to court proceedings. Divorce mediation is a process where a neutral third-party mediator helps couples negotiate their divorce settlement. Instead of battling it out in court, couples sit down together, often in the same room, to discuss and resolve issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support.
What Are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?
Here are the benefits of divorce mediation (over traditional litigation):
Time and Cost Efficiency
One of the most significant advantages of mediation is its efficiency. Traditional divorce litigation can take months or even years to resolve, leading to high legal fees and court costs. Mediation, on the other hand, can often be completed in a few sessions, saving couples both time and money.
Mediation focuses on improving each party's understanding of the other side. This process helps couples learn the tools of effective communication, which can be especially beneficial if children are involved. A mediator can help former partners communicate effectively despite emotions, misunderstandings, or distrust.
Unlike traditional court proceedings, which can be adversarial and increase tension, divorce mediation provides a less hostile environment for discussion. This approach can help preserve a good relationship with your spouse, reducing tension for the sake of any children involved6.
In mediation, couples have more control over their divorce outcome. Instead of leaving decisions up to a judge, they can work together to reach agreements that best meet their needs and the needs of their children.
Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?
Choosing divorce mediation over traditional litigation can offer many advantages, including financial, logistical, psychological, and emotional benefits. It allows couples to navigate their separation in a way that minimizes conflict and promotes cooperation.
But it’s critical to remember that while mediation can be beneficial for many couples, it might not be the right choice for everyone. While divorce mediation can often be a beneficial choice for couples seeking to amicably end their marriage, there are certain circumstances where it may not be the best option.
Specifically, if there is a history of abuse or intimidation in the relationship, the power dynamics in mediation may not be conducive to a fair settlement. Also, if there is a significant imbalance in knowledge or financial resources between the spouses, one party may be at a disadvantage.
Additionally, if one spouse is hiding assets or not being fully transparent about their finances, mediation may not be effective. Finally, if the couple's communication has broken down to a point where they cannot engage in productive discussions, even with a mediator's help, a more structured legal process may be necessary.
Amy Neshanian | Divorce Mediator
Attorney Amy Neshanian can help you and your spouse with your divorce mediation. Contact us online or at (949) 577-7935 to schedule a quick consultation.