These days, more and more separating couples are realizing that they have options. Options that don’t involve wasting tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of stressful hours going through the court process when they separate. As upset as you or your former spouse may be, when cooler heads prevail, you are likely similar to most people going through this challenging time: you want an end to the uncertainty and a vision, or plan, for your new reality after separation or divorce.
Mediation is a great option for many families and couples for many reasons:
- Mediation is cost-effective, particularly if you attend mediation on your own, without lawyers present. This way, the two of you share the cost of the mediator and simply pay a lawyer for independent legal advice prior to signing the mediated agreement. If you choose to have lawyers present during mediation, this is still much cheaper than litigation.
- In mediation, you and your former spouse have control over the outcome. Despite what many people think, it is very hard to predict the results of a court application or trial. Even on your best day, there is still risk when a complete stranger – the judge – is making decisions about your children and your money, based on limited information and time. However, in mediation, the decision is entirely yours and your spouse’s. You make choices you can both live with.
- Mediation is a creative process in that it can be tailored to the unique needs of each family. Furthermore, you and your former spouse can make agreements that address non-legal issues or that a judge could not even order.
- Mediation is also a confidential process. What is said in the mediation room stays in the room and cannot be used against you in future court processes, if litigation becomes necessary. On the contrary, the court process is entirely public. People can access court documents, sit in and watch trials and court applications and even read the judge’s decision about your family. This reason alone causes many couples to consider mediation.
- Finally, mediators are trained to help you navigate the challenges of discussing and reaching agreement on various issues related to separation and divorce. A mediator is a neutral third party who will create a safe environment for healthy communication, assist in overcoming obstacles and give you the tools you need when there is an impasse you cannot cross on your own.
Before you head to court, be sure to check out alternative options for resolving the issues between you and your spouse, alternatives that will result in a more durable agreement, less expense and a healthier foundation for the future.
If you are interested in more information about mediation, click here.
To learn more about retaining me as a certified family mediator, click here.
If a friend, family member or colleague is looking for guidance through the process of separation and divorce, please share this post!
You can also watch my video blog, The 5 Benefits of Mediation, here.