Mediation has become a popular option in divorce and other family law matter settlements because it gives parties more control over discussions and is usually more time-saving and cost-efficient. But even though these benefits are attractive, parties should ensure that mediation is in line with the circumstances surrounding their divorce.
If you are considering divorce mediation, the following information may help you decide if it is the best option for you.
Mediation may not work for certain parties
Divorce mediation is a dispute resolution process that aims for an amicable settlement between separating spouses through negotiation. This means that there is a high chance it might not work if:
- There is a history or fear of violence, abuse and neglect against the spouse or child
- Either of the spouses has a history of dishonesty or untrustworthiness
- Either party is putting fault upon the other
In mediation, parties must be open to compromise and listen to the other party. If any of these or similar circumstances exist, emotions might overcome reason during discussions and lead to further disagreements.
The mediator ensures fair play
While it is true that parties have more control in discussions in mediation than in court, there must be a neutral third party who will facilitate the same. Since there is a high chance of disagreement between parties, especially when discussing who gets who or who pays what, the mediator will set ground rules. This way, the parties can reach a mutually beneficial agreement by the end of the mediation.
Preparing proof to back up arguments
Discussions in a divorce mediation usually include property division, spousal and child support, child custody and parenting plans. To better lay down their arguments, parties should prepare documents to back them up, such as financial statements, asset valuation and list of debts.
Mediation can be faster than litigation, but it is still a complex process that follows specific guidelines. Understanding this basic information about mediation can help parties decide if it is the best option for them.