Divorce Mediation: Benefits Of The Collaborative Process

Divorce mediation: Benefits of the collaborative process Rated by Super Lawyers, Linda S.S. de Beer / visit superlawyers.com

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes and coming to an agreement. The process is unique in that decision-making is left with the parties. In the process, the mediator, a neutral party, facilitates communication and helps them arrive at an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. In contrast to an adversarial proceeding, mediation aims to achieve the needs and goals of all disputants.

Mediation can be used for all types of conflict; however, it is particularly helpful in the context of divorce and other family law matters. There are significant benefits of the process, which distinguish mediation from traditional litigation.

Mediation is cheaper. Mediation tends to involve few administrative costs, which are often associated with an in-court process. Financial Planning Association indicates that the cost of a mediated divorce is estimated to be only 25 to 40 percent of the price of a court-determined decree.

Mediation offers personal attention. The collaborative process allows parties to be heard. While judges rarely have the opportunity to get to know a family and uncover the various issues involved in a dispute, mediators work with parties directly and aim to capture an in-depth understanding of all conflicts from each party's perspective. The neutral helps disputants explore and generate resolution options.

Mediation is fast. Disputants have the ability to set their own schedule for resolving issues, without having to wait several months for the next official court date. The process is extremely flexible, permitting sessions to be scheduled for times that are convenient for parties (for example, at night after the working day). With an accommodating schedule, it is possible to resolve issues in only a few meetings. With a quick and speedy resolution, the process allows parties to move forward without the stress of a lingering legal dispute.

Mediation is private. Documents, communications and notes made or used in mediation are privileged and confidential. Unlike court, which is in a public forum in front of a number of court personnel, mediation sessions are private.

Mediation is not a win-lose situation. While traditional litigation is constructed around a win-lose outcome, mediation allows parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement. The process stresses cooperative problem solving. The goal is to address the needs of all disputants. This is important because the nature of the process encourages parties to follow through with the agreement as the disputants develop the resolution themselves.

Mediation can be a binding process. If disputants reach a final resolution, an attorney can file the agreement with the court. This will be binding on all parties. However, this resolution process is not for everyone. There are some cases where traditional litigation might be a better option. If you would like to learn more about the process, contact an experienced family law attorney today. A lawyer can assist and support your needs through mediation or traditional litigation.