If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you have options to consider other than a possibly contentious court battle.
One of those options is mediation. This process focuses on open communication, which provides benefits for future family relationships.
A form of ADR, or alternative dispute resolution, mediation is a more peaceful and respectful divorce option than litigation. Couples also appreciate the privacy mediation affords as opposed to the public scrutiny of a court action. You and your spouse will meet with a mediator, a neutral third party whose job is to provide guidance as the two of you work together to create a satisfactory divorce settlement agreement. The mediator can advise you about the law as it pertains to your divorce and tell you what to expect when the court reviews your agreement.
In addition to privacy, mediation is less expensive than litigation, mainly because it takes far less time. It also reduces stress for the family as a whole. Studies show that as compared with a lengthy and potentially bitter confrontation in court, mediation leaves children with less fear and anxiety about their post-divorce future.
A look ahead
For some couples who are fortunate enough to have an amicable divorce, open communication is not an issue. Others are hesitant to engage with each other in this way, but the mediator helps them learn how to use communication to their benefit. In addition, couples find that the ability to communicate effectively during divorce mediation is an extremely helpful skill to use as new family relationships develop. Mediation is a calm, confidential and respectful process that permits the parties to control their own divorce and helps them build a solid foundation for the future.