Divorce Mediation: How is it Different from Other Settlement Processes?

married couple having their divorce mediation

As ending a relationship or marriage is both hard and heartbreaking, it is understandable why some couples end up in bad terms. While it’s true that certain divorce cases have the potential to get ugly, there are still those who can achieve an amicable settlement and remain in good terms long after the process is over. This is especially for ex-couples who can work civilly and are willing to negotiate.

If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and are willing to work together to achieve what’s best for both, divorce mediation is worth considering. This involves the presence of a mediator (a neutral third party) that will help both of you to come up with an agreement. Do take note that the mediator will not make the decisions for both of you; s/he will only facilitate and monitor discussions.

A simpler settlement process

One major appeal of mediation is that it is simpler than a traditional divorce settlement. When compared to court trials or litigation, mediation is also less time consuming and far more affordable. This is because it allows couples to come up with a decision through discussions and negotiations, rather than having an arrangement that strictly follows the laws of the court.

Getting assistance from a mediator or a lawyer

Long Island divorce mediation experts note that with this settlement process, the mediator will assist you and your spouse in reaching an agreement that suits both parties, as well as your finances and future. You can still choose to hire a lawyer if you want, especially if you wish to additional legal advice or learn more about protecting your statutory rights.

It is a matter of preference

a family discussing divorce mediation with their lawyer

There is no denying that mediation is an ideal divorce process, but do take note that it may not work in certain situations. For cases with issues of spousal abuse and domestic violence, settling issues with the mediation will depend on the couples’ situation and preferences. If one party is afraid or cannot face their partner, this strategy may not work.

When considering mediation

If you’re thinking of choosing mediation, you need to consider your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you and your partner can talk without shouting or getting mad at each other, it may be the right choice. Mediation may also be suitable if:

  • Both of you want to stay in good terms (for personal values or the sake of the children)
  • The decision to divorce is mutual (this is beneficial in working together to resolve all associated issues)
  • Both of you are dedicated parents (this is important for negotiating and deciding what’s best for the kids)
  • You fully understand the financial situation, which includes all assets, properties, and joint accounts (this is to avoid surprises or to agree on terms that are against your favor)

The key to making this settlement process successful is the willingness to compromise and negotiate. This is why many couples can benefit from it, even if you and your spouse have different views on how to settle all the issues involved. It is a good idea to learn more about it and talk to a mediator to find out how it can help divorcing couples.