The American Bar Association has dubbed the third week of October as "mediation week" and in light of that, some individuals may be wondering what mediation is and how it can help them, especially when it comes to divorce. Mediation is a process that assists and guides parties involved in the legal process with reaching agreements between themselves. A mediator works with the parties to arrive at mutually agreeable outcomes. Because it is not an adversarial process but is instead aimed at meeting the needs of all parties, the mediation process can be especially useful in divorce situations.
Divorce mediation can be a good choice for many divorcing couples for a number of reasons. One reason divorce mediation may be both helpful and preferable is that it can be less costly because it involves minimal court contact. Additionally, a divorcing couple can focus on issues that matter most to them and are most important to resolve for their family. The mediator will also be actively involved in seeking resolutions that will aid in achieving what is best for the divorcing couple and their family, as determined by the couple.
Divorce mediation can also be more expeditious and can save the couple time because they set the timelines. Avoiding a lengthy divorce process can also help minimize acrimony, anxiety and cost. Divorcing couples may also find that the mediation process offers greater flexibility. Furthermore, divorce mediation can be a better process for children, as it does not expose them to unnecessary courtroom hearings or unpleasant feelings. Because mediation outcomes are reached together and are specific to the parties, it can also help facilitate a smoother future as the parties co-parent moving forward.
The mediation process can also help facilitate future modifications, as needed, if disputes arise down the road. Because the mediator is neutral and the process is a cooperative process, mediation can help meet the needs and goals of all the parties as much as possible and lead to solutions that all parties can live with during the oftentimes difficult divorce process.
Source: Huffington Post, "Celebrate Mediation Day: Top 10 Reasons To Mediate Your Divorce," Sherri Donovan, Accessed Sept. 25, 2015