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Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation

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Divorce mediation is an efficient way of negotiating settlement terms in divorce cases. Through divorce mediation, both of you, and your lawyers if you’re being represented, hire an impartial third party, called a mediator. The mediator meets with you, and your lawyers if you want an attorney present, and assists you in resolving matters in the divorce. The mediator doesn’t make decisions.  Instead, the mediator helps start a dialog around a settlement as you both come to a resolution.  The mediator facilitates communication when you reach difficult impasses.  A skilled mediator will help you reach resolutions even when the resolutions don’t come easily.

Here’s an explanation of the pros and cons of divorce mediation:

Divorce Mediation Pros

  • Both of you have more control over the divorce procedure and its outcome, as well as the timing
  • Encourages open discussion for the cooperative decision-making process
  • If mediation fails, you can still count on the court process to finalize the divorce
  • Is less expensive than litigated divorces, which is when people go to court
  • You can participate even if you don’t have a lawyer, or if you do
  • The procedure is voluntary and casual
  • Healthier for everyone involved, including the children
  • No court battles
  • Maintains the privacy of matters in the divorce
  • You establish the issues and the time period to address them
  • Spouses often divide the cost of mediation
  • Lessens post-divorce legal proceedings because you each buy into the final terms
  • Typically, quicker than a common divorce
  • Less stressful because there aren’t court battles

Divorce Mediation Cons

  • If you don’t talk with an attorney, there is no one to look over the divorce agreement before its signed
  • A mediator can’t give legal advice
  • You may feel pressured or as if the odds are stacked against you
  • If you’re not represented, there is no one providing advice for you or looking after your best interests
  • Each of you can pull out of mediation whenever you want
  • No investigation process and formal regulations
  • Mediation will fail if parties can’t cooperate or come to an agreement
  • You might end up feeling like maybe you signed an unfair settlement
  • Not suitable for a lot of cases that involve drug abuse or domestic violence
  • If mediation fails, you might still go to court

Divorce Mediation Lawyers

A lot of people decide on mediation because the parties aren’t required to hire lawyers to represent them to participate. When the other spouse has representation and you do not, you might feel the process is “a little unfair” despite the fact that the mediator’s job is to give impartial help. If you’re scared that you might become speechless or be less empowered by going to mediation by yourself, having representation might boost your confidence.

Divorce Mediation vs Collaborative Divorce

If you think mediation is not right in your circumstances but you want to get divorced without going court, collaborative divorce may be a better choice. Each of you will have your own collaborative lawyer looking after your best interests.  But the attorneys don’t drive up conflict.  Instead, they encourage a resolution that benefits the whole family.  Unlike court, with collaborative process, you won’t write a blank check to a lawyer to fight battles that cannot be won.

Source

  1. Morse, Judy MorseJudy, and Judy Morse. “Divorce Mediation Pros and Cons.” Best Legal Choices, 4 Oct. 2019, https://bestlegalchoices.com/divorce-mediation-pros-and-cons/.

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