The process of going through a divorce is emotionally draining and time-consuming. It can impact every area of your life. While courts do their best to provide the public with their services, courtrooms are often understaffed and overwhelmed with the number of cases they have at any given time.
Depending on how the divorcing parties relate, there is an alternative to going to court for a divorce. It is just as valid, and in the end, if the parties reach an agreement, it must be signed off by the judge for it to be official.
What is mediation?
This alternative to going to court is called mediation. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that provides the divorcing parties an alternative to the traditional litigation process.
How does mediation work?
Mediation styles may vary depending on the mediator, but the basic tenets are usually the same:
- The parties hire a mediator of their choice and schedule an initial session.
- The parties (and their attorneys) attend the meeting either in person or virtually.
- The mediator explains what mediation is and lays out the rules.
- The parties, with or without help from the mediator, identify the most critical issues.
- The parties discuss every individual problem and attempt to settle all of them.
- If the mediation is successful, one of the attorneys or mediators writes the parties’ agreement.
- The mediator or one of the attorneys files the proposed settlement with the court.
- If the judge approves the proposed settlement, they sign it, and the divorce becomes official.
Why is mediation beneficial?
- Mediation is a private process. Mediation may be ideal for you if you want to keep your matter confidential.
- One of the goals of mediation is to preserve the relationship between the parties. Mediation can begin a productive, collaborative relationship between the parties if you have children.
- Mediation is cost-effective. Even if the parties have attorneys, it is much cheaper than going to court.
- The divorce process will take less time. Mediation is much faster than going through the court system.
As you begin the divorce process and rebuild your life, it is important to consider what you can do to make the process less stressful. Mediation can be highly effective and it is widely used in divorce cases.
If the parties are civil, willing to mediate their case and try to work with the mediator in good faith, it is definitely possible to reach a long-term solution that both parties can live with.