Marriages end for numerous reasons and when spouses decide to divorce, many wish to do so as quickly and painlessly as possible. However, as a society we've been conditioned to believe that divorce must be a drawn-out and contentious process. Thankfully, alternatives to the traditional divorce do exist.
A growing number of divorcing spouses are choosing mediation as a means to resolve and settle divorce-related matters. This process is especially popular among younger divorcees, with or without children, who tend to shy away from litigating a divorce and the added drama and expense that often comes with doing so.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is widely employed in divorce and child custody cases. Through the mediation process, divorcing spouses come together to meet and discuss how they want to divide their assets and property, handle child custody and visitation matters and resolve any other divorce-related issues.
Divorcing spouses agree to certain terms of conduct and mutual goals and the conversation is facilitated and mediated by a neutral and specially-trained individual known as a mediator.
Three key benefits of mediation:
1) Mediation means you'll have more control - Divorce is almost always accompanied by change and uncertainty. However, these elements are magnified when you are beholden to a court schedule and a judge who doesn't know much about you or your situation. Through mediation, you and your ex have control over not only how you divorce, but also the outcome(s) of your divorce.
2) Mediation takes less time and is less costly- Because you and your ex dictate nearly everything about the mediation process, including when and how often you meet, you can also typically resolve divorce-related matters much quicker. Plus, without the assistance of several attorneys and court-related fees, mediated divorces tend to cost much less.
3) Mediation helps preserve your relationship with an ex - Just because a marriage doesn't work out, it doesn't mean that you want to start world war III with your ex. If you are considering mediation, it's likely that you and your ex have been able to maintain a relatively civil relationship and want to keep it that way for both of your sakes as well as for the sake of any shared children.