In the event of a contested divorce, you can either go to court to dispute your issues before a judge or try mediation. Also known as a form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation involves a neutral, third-party individual who helps a couple try to resolve their divorce issues. Divorce mediation offers various benefits that going to court does not, such as being able to resolve your marital issues with your spouse without needing a judge to interfere. In this way, this method becomes more of a collaborative process that could help save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Today, we review the benefits of meditation and why you might choose this form of alternative dispute resolution over litigation.
Why Choose Mediation Over Litigation
There are many benefits to divorce mediation, including the fact that it is the less expensive route to take when it comes to the divorce process. Additional benefits also include but are not limited to the following:
Mediation sessions are kept private and are not a matter of public record. If you are concerned about your privacy, meditation may be the option for you.
Mediation is generally much less expensive than litigation. Court appearances and the cost of additional legal hours can add up quickly.
There is more flexibility during a mediation session in terms of how you will resolve your marital issues. Typically, a couple will resolve their issues on their own with some guidance from the mediator.
If both parties are dedicated to coming to a resolution, mediation is much more efficient than going to court. It allows each spouse to express his/her concerns and work together to come to an agreement.
It is not uncommon for a couple to come to a divorce agreement within a few weeks or months. In some cases, their issues may be resolved in as little as 2 to 4 mediation sessions. A contested divorce, on the other hand, could take a year or longer to finalize.
Results in a win-win resolution
Litigation does not end in a win-win resolution, but mediation can if you and you spouse agree to come to an agreement. Couples find reaching a divorce agreement together also helps them co-parent more effectively after the divorce.
Easier on the children in the family
If you and your spouse can do the whole conflict-resolution thing while working out marital issues, then guess what? You will also be able to resolve your conflicts when it comes time to co-parent your children.
Additionally, mediation keeps child custody and visitation matters out of court, which is easier and healthier for your children. Going to court tends to stress out both parties, which could affect your parenting skills during this time.
What Happens in a Mediation Session?
During a divorce mediation session, the couple’s issues will be addressed. The mediator may choose to section the sessions off by category to focus on one issue per session or he/she may group them together if it makes sense.
A typical mediation session might look something like this:
- The mediator will go over the process and answer any questions and concerns
- The mediator will ask each spouse to bring up relevant issues they would like to discuss
- Each spouse will be given the opportunity to make a statement about their concerns and needs
- The mediator will determine where you and your spouse agree, and which issues you will need to resolve
- Everyone together will determine a plan to figure out how to best resolve these issues
- The mediator will help you and your spouse negotiate, craft an agreement, and close the session
Thinking About Mediation? Get in Touch with Our Firm
There are many benefits to divorce mediation, which is why so many couples choose to try this method before going to court. It should be noted that this method is not for everyone, so it is best to speak with your spouse and your attorney to determine if it is right for you.
Whether you are looking to resolve your divorce issues through mediation or require a seasoned lawyer to advocate on your behalf in court, our West Virginia State Bar certified mediator with several years’ experience will help you secure a favorable divorce outcome.
Reach out to our firm online or via (304) 867-0049 to schedule a consultation to discuss divorce mediation.