If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may dread the added emotional stress of a lengthy court proceeding.
If the two of you can agree to work together, you can control your own divorce through mediation, an option that offers many benefits as compared with litigation.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. If you and your spouse choose this voluntary divorce option, you will meet outside of court with a trained mediator, a neutral third party whose job is to provide guidance as you work together to create a mutually satisfactory divorce agreement.
Benefits in store
Mediation has gained steadily in popularity for a variety of reasons:
- Mediation sessions are private, and the information shared remains confidential
- It is a less adversarial process than litigation
- You and your spouse will have more input than you would have in a court proceeding
- You set the pace, but mediation usually takes far less time than litigation
- A faster process also means less expense
- Mediation is less stressful for children than a contentious court process
The willingness to negotiate and compromise in a more civil and respectful atmosphere helps parties to develop a divorce agreement that is more durable. Couples who choose mediation do not return to court to renegotiate their agreements as often as those who opt for litigation. Teamwork and the need for open communication also provide benefits as parents and children enter the next phase of their lives and learn how to deal with the new family structure.