Although there are still a good number of couples who march right into court without a second thought, more and more divorcing couples are turning to mediation and collaborative divorce processes as an alternative.
There are actually several reasons that divorce mediation could be a good choice for you. The most important of these is that, in mediation, you have an unbiased third party who is trained and willing to walk the two of you through your divorce as painlessly as possible.
Granted, no divorce is easy and you’ll still have some adjustments you’ll have to make but, with the right mediator, you can avoid or at least lessen many of the painful aspects traditionally associated with divorce.
Because the primary goal of mediation is to help you and your ex come to amicable terms, the environment is one of negotiation rather than confrontation. As a result, there’s (hopefully) less animosity and less stress. After all, you’re now working together to find a reasonable resolution instead of attacking each other trying to get the upper hand. Mediation is also cheaper than going to trial, so your pocketbook will be less stressed as well.
Happier Parents Means Happier Kids
The less stressed-out you are, the less stressed-out your kids will be as well. Mediation benefits everyone in your family, not just the two who are actually doing the mediating. By coming together as a team, you can work out a solid parenting agreement that minimizes the disruption to the family unit when it comes to spending time with your kids. (For more, read about the effects of divorce on children.)
The Skeletons Stay Hidden
Regardless of how it may appear in open divorce court, no one really wants to air their laundry in front of strangers. Mediation helps you keep you private life private by focusing on moving forward in a positive manner instead of digging up all the old dirt you might have on each other. Forget about who’s at fault – focus instead on how to move on.
Higher Satisfaction Rate
In a traditional divorce, your fate and the fate of your ex (and even your children) is left up to the judge. That’s not always the best solution and there’s a good chance that you’ll both walk away feeling less-than-satisfied. In mediation, however, the divorce agreement is the result of negotiations between you and your spouse, the very two people who have the most knowledge and understanding about what it would take to create an amicable agreement. Is it any wonder then that mediations have a higher success rate and a lower chance of re-litigation than traditional divorces?
You may also want to read this book on mediation and collaborative divorce to decide if a divorce alternative is right for you.