Why many divorcing couples try to resolve issues via mediation

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Divorce

Some people preparing for divorce fantasize about vindication in family court. They imagine a judge chastising their spouse for their failings throughout the marriage or their misconduct in the early stages of divorce negotiations. Those with intense feelings about the end of a marriage may expect that divorce litigation could provide them with an opportunity to vent their feelings and obtain justice for what transpired during a marriage.

Fantasies about litigation often do not align with the reality of divorce proceedings. A protracted court battle may not yield the closure or the justice someone desires. Upon accepting this reality, many spouses will go to great lengths to avoid litigation, often electing to mediate their disputes with one another instead.

What motivates those who are preparing for divorce to schedule mediation sessions instead of preparing for litigation? Below are the top three reasons given by most couples who chose to mediate.

Mediation is more amicable.

Litigation is often an adversarial process. The spouse may make unreasonable demands or try to show the court, and by extension their community, that the other spouse is the party to blame for the failure of the marriage. It can be very difficult to parent cooperatively or see each other in social settings after taking a scorched-earth approach to divorce. Many couples who have to see one another after a divorce agree to mediation so that they can reduce the degree of conflict during and after the divorce.

Mediation is cost-effective.

For couples who choose to represent themselves while participating in mediation, there is a cost savings in being able to share a single professional rather than separate attorneys. But even if the spouses already have their own attorneys, hiring a mediator is an investment can actually reduce the overall cost of divorce. The fewer matters that spouses have to resolve in family court, the less they may pay for the divorce.

Mediation is under their control.

Many people dislike how the divorce process effectively strips them of authority over the division of their finances and the determination of their family arrangements. Litigation means that a judge has the final say in matters related to property division, parenting and financial support. In mediation, the spouses have an opportunity to cooperate with each other and reach a mutual agreement about the key issues in their divorce proceedings. Those with small business holdings and other unique concerns may also find that the control offered by a mediated divorce is preferable to the surrender required when litigating.

Mediation is not always successful, but when it is, spouses can expect to experience less conflict, fewer expenses, more control and less public exposure. Agreeing to participate in divorce mediation can be a smart move for people in a variety of different marital circumstances. This is just one of the reasons why exploring different family law solutions can benefit those preparing for the end of a marriage.