Divorce can be an emotionally taxing experience. Many people associate it with intense conflicts over child custody, property and the amount a spouse will receive in alimony. While going to mediation may avoid these emotionally fraught battles, it might also help you accept the final settlement reached by the process.
Mediation works much differently than a court trial. The atmosphere is less adversarial, which can help to reduce tensions. Also, there is no judge. Instead, you will work with a mediator, a neutral individual who will not impose a solution on you but will instead help you and your spouse come to an agreement you can both live with.
The workings of mediation
As FindLaw explains, mediation takes place through a number of sessions. Typically, they last from one to two hours. The purpose of the first meeting is to identify what issues you and your spouse will try to resolve. The mediator will act as a facilitator between you and your spouse. Though a mediator remains neutral, you may still receive information from your mediator about how the court system works and ways to resolve divorce issues.
Mediations can be flexible. You might discuss issues with your spouse directly, but if your relationship is not amicable enough, your mediator may shuffle individual sessions with you and your spouse. You can also involve financial experts who will offer their opinions on your case. And if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, you might sit on the issue for a while and return to mediation again.
The appeal of a mediated solution
The fact that you have so much input in a mediated outcome stands in contrast to what would happen in court. Though you may argue passionately for your case in court, in the end a judge will impose a solution and it may be one you will not fully accept. Possibly, you might resent the solution and try to resist it. This could lead to future litigation with your ex-spouse.
Mediating your divorce gives you ownership of the solution. You do not feel that another party imposed their will on you. This can be healthier psychologically. You might not feel as much antagonism towards your ex and you may develop an amicable working relationship in the process. And because you helped craft the solution, you would be far less likely to rebel against it or go to court over it later on.