When people think of divorce, they might picture harsh, emotional arguments with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse in the courtroom. Both film and television have portrayed some of the most contentious divorces that lead many people to only see divorce as a confrontational court battle.
There is no denying that divorce is both emotional and stressful. And it is very possible that spouses might disagree many times throughout the process of ending their marriage. However, this process does not have to involve the stress of formal court hearings.
Mediation provides several benefits for divorcing spouses. Here is a quick overview of a few of the primary benefits:
1. Mediation is flexible and often requires less time
When spouses decide to pursue their divorce through mediation, it is up to them to schedule the private mediation sessions, so they fit into their schedule.
And as long as spouses commit to negotiations during the mediation sessions, some cases may require a time span of a few months to reach a divorce settlement. In contrast, settling a divorce in court often lasts anywhere from four to 12 months.
2. It often costs less than taking matters to court
Since taking matters to court is more formal and lasts longer, it often costs more as well. On average, a contested divorce can cost individuals tens of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, the average cost of mediation often falls around $3,500.
Dividing property in a divorce can already take a toll on individuals’ finances. So, mediation can help divorcing spouses save their money and help them adjust to life post-divorce.
3. Spouses can create more practical and effective agreements
In mediation, both spouses are directly involved in every aspect of the negotiation process, and the neutral mediator helps the parties consider a wide range of options.
But the spouses know their family better than any family court. Therefore, mediation allows spouses to better
- Put their children’s needs first
- Reduce future arguments involving unrealistic court orders
- Have more control over their agreements and post-divorce life
Practical agreements will last longer and potentially help set both spouses–and their family–up for success after the divorce.
Overall, mediation often helps families reduce their stress levels throughout the divorce, preserve their family relationships and do what is best for them and their family in the long run.