Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. It can be useful to settle disagreements in many areas of the law, but in family law matters, it is often used to reach divorce agreements or resolve post-divorce disputes.
People who choose mediation over litigation in family law matters typically report more satisfaction with the outcome than those who take their divorce case to court. Mediation can benefit you and your ex in many ways during a divorce. Here are five of them.
1. Greater privacy
While a court case plays out in public, mediation takes place in a private setting. The rules of mediation prevent the use of the evidence presented in later proceedings. Also, there are no transcripts or records kept, which means that your personal matters do not go public.
2. More control
In a court case, a judge and/or jury makes decisions for you. Mediation gives you and your ex the power to make your own decisions based on what works in your particular situation. The law does not limit the resolution, so you can be creative in the decision-making process.
3. Amicable relations
Because mediation is a non-confrontational process, it can help to prevent the relationship between you and your ex from dissolving into antagonism and recrimination. Preserving amicable relations between you and your ex is particularly important if you have children.
4. Quicker resolution
Mediating a divorce usually means that you can reach a resolution within a matter of weeks or, sometimes, days. By contrast, a court case can take months or years to resolve.
5. Less money
While mediation costs money, the expenses are significantly less than in a court case, in part because of the relative speed of the mediation process.
Mediation may not be sufficient to resolve everything. Some matters may still have to go to court. Still, with most of the dispute settled in mediation, the litigation should be easier and quicker than it would be if the court decided on the entire divorce settlement.