Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation

What is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is defined as a non-combative method of filing for divorce which potentially can help both spouses reach an advantageous result in the divorce process. Divorce mediation may allow couples to avoid some of the more traditionally unpleasant aspects of the divorce process.

Pros of Divorce Mediation

Divorce is painful, regardless of the technique used, but divorce mediation may allow married couples to work with a neutral divorce facilitator who assists the spouses as they make their divorce decisions. The facilitator is not a divorce lawyer. Mediators do not “advocate” for one person in the divorce, but help both couples identify any areas of disagreements, including child custody and child support, and negotiate an agreeable settlement.

Couples often prefer mediation because it can facilitate healthy communication. The mediator may also have the legal expertise to help the couples complete the mandatory divorce forms and legal documents. All negotiations and issues are confidential, and mediation is often less expensive than a traditional divorce, which pleases everyone.

Mediation may also help the children adjust to the divorce. If children understand that both parents were partners in the divorce process and they worked together to come to a mutual agreement that worked for everyone, they may be happier with the final outcome of the child custody arrangement.

Mediation will also allow couples to seek a resolution in court if they determine that mediation is not going to work. If the outcome of the mediation is not acceptable, either party in the divorce may choose to hire a divorce lawyer and schedule a court appearance to decide the divorce issues.

Mediation may only be successful when both spouses want to have an amicable divorce. If one spouse is not honest or chooses to hide vital information from the other, mediation may not be successful. Mediation has become increasingly popular and has helped many couples through the divorce process.

Cons of Mediation

Divorce mediation can be a good alternative to traditional divorce, but there are some limitations in the mediation process. Some of the disadvantages can include the following:

• Mediators do not have the power of a judge. They do not have the legal authority to force either spouse to agree to any type of divorce arrangement, and the success of mediation will rest entirely on the ability of each partner to work together to come to a mutually advantageous agreement.
• Mediation will require face-to-face meetings and discussions with your spouse. If you and your spouse have had a contentious break-up or if either spouse was abusive or manipulative, mediation may not be successful.

Discussing Mediation with a Divorce Lawyer

Although many states do not require mediation, more and more judges are requiring spouses to attend a formal settlement conference or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

If you do choose mediation, keep in mind that many states also do not have any special types of licensing requirements for mediators. How do you find the best mediator? Researching the mediator’s background and experience is important. Discussing your divorce with a divorce lawyer is also important. Divorce lawyers may be able to offer some advice about choosing the best mediator for your divorce.

If you are considering filing for divorce and you have questions, contact a divorce lawyer. Divorce attorneys understand divorce law and can help you determine how to proceed. Fill out the FREE case evaluation form and let us help you with your divorce.