Hearing the word “divorce” can bring to mind hostility, emotional turmoil, and a tiring litigation process in which both sides are fighting to get whatever they can. This does not have to be the case though. Divorce is a difficult and stressful time for anyone to go through, but mediation is an out-of-court option that can lead to a better outcome than a traditional hearing.
In a divorce, couples can choose to negotiate their own agreement for child custody, property division, and other important matters outside of court, with the advice and help of a neutral third party known as the mediator.
Here are four reasons that mediation can be a better solution than a court hearing:
1. The agreement suits your desires and goals.
In traditional litigation, final terms may feel one-sided or inappropriate for your situation. A judge examines your case objectively from a legal standpoint but they do not know either of you personally. A court agreement may seem legally fair on paper, but the terms may not be ideal or work out well for you and your ex-spouse.
You know each other better than a judge knows you. Through mediation, you can discuss terms that you know are a good solution for you and will work for your situation. Mediation also assures your satisfaction with the outcome, since you are the ones drafting the agreement and you do not sign it until both of you are satisfied with the terms you discussed.
2. Mediation can be less emotionally taxing on you and your children.
Divorce is an incredibly emotional time for everyone. While it will probably be a difficult experience regardless of whether you go to court or not, mediation is often much less emotionally draining than litigation is. The goal of mediation is to consider each party’s interests and concerns and create a solution that works for them. People often leave on much better terms after mediation, and even if disagreements arise during the process, the mediator’s job is to diffuse those situations and help each party focus on what’s important.
Mediation also creates a much less hostile environment for children. Children’s emotional well-being can greatly benefit from seeing their parents engage in mediation rather than fighting over property and belongings in court.
3. Your matters are more confidential.
For many people, confidentiality is important and can remove some of the stress of a divorce. In a court hearing, all your family matters are discussed publicly and decided publicly. For those who prefer a sense of privacy about personal matters, this can be a big benefit to mediation.
4. Mediation is faster and less costly.
Divorce doesn’t just take an emotional toll on everyone involved; it can carry huge financial burdens as well. The mediation process is usually much quicker than the litigation process, which can drag on for months or possibly even years during a divorce. Because it is a shorter process and requires less fees, mediation usually leaves both parties in a much better place financially after a divorce.