When a marriage dissolves, both parties’ thoughts tend to jump immediately to drawn out court processes and an eventual trial where emotions are charged. But it does not have to be this way. Mediation has become a popular option for people as it is an alternative dispute resolution that has the potential to amicably dissolve a marriage.
While attorneys are not a requirement in the mediation process, it is strongly recommended that each party consults with their divorce lawyers throughout the process or at least hire one to review the settlement before finalizing to determine whether one’s best interests are represented. There are many reasons why mediation should be considered in finding resolution at the end of a marriage.
1. More peaceful and satisfying resolutions
When divorce matters are settled in family court, it is common that one party disagrees with the settlement and harbours resentful feelings. The mediation process is a much more peaceful and satisfying process for both parties as each has the opportunity to be heard. The mediator can then tailor a settlement based on arguments and ideas from both sides. This removes the obligation to abide by a settlement imposed on a party by a judge which often leads to considerably less control over the process.
Each party has equal say and makes decisions on the issues brought to the forefront by the mediator. The mediation process is able to tailor an agreement that meets the needs of both parties and children involved. The mediator can meet based on a schedule that works for all involved as opposed to a court binding everyone to specific dates and times that may interfere with employment or education.
2. Cost effective
As mentioned, you still may choose to seek the assistance of a divorce lawyer in the mediator process but their fees will be less than if you chose to go to court. Often, divorce attorneys do not attend mediation sessions which definitely leads to reduced fees but they can be part of the process if requested by their client.
Instead of both sides hiring separate attorneys to represent them in court which would include consultation, administrative, and court fees, they only pay the mediator with a possible occasional consultation with an attorney along the way or before the agreement is signed and finalized.
3. Quicker resolution
During divorce proceedings involving litigation, each side needs to wait for meetings with respective attorneys and court dates. With about 40% of marriages ending in divorce, it may be quite some time before the case reaches court and judges and attorneys always need to coordinate their busy schedules.
The mediation process offers a quick and efficient process because sessions can be scheduled on days that work for both parties and the mediator. These days can be scheduled closer together as opposed to court dates that may be months apart. The divorce process can involve a lot of anxiety so it is always best to resolve the case as quickly as possible and this is what makes the mediation process so appealing.
If a divorce case is brought before a judge, the circumstances of the case are argued with attorneys, court officers, employees, and possibly members of the public being present. This can cause significant shame and embarrassment to both parties especially if children are involved. In the mediation process, all documents and notes are confidential.
Sessions are held behind closed doors at the mediator’s office. This will guarantee that your matters are kept private and the process will be easier on children as they will only be required to speak to the mediator as opposed to answering questions asked by judges and attorneys.