You might have heard that mediation can be a good alternative to the usual divorce process. It’s true that mediation can have many benefits, including:
- It’s less expensive than a typical divorce, in which both sides have attorneys.
- It does not take as much time as a typical divorce.
- The spouses make the decisions on the issues (such as child custody and spousal support), instead of leaving the decisions up to a judge or jury.
But is mediation a good fit for you and your situation?
What’s your personality type?
Personalities are important considerations when deciding whether to use mediation. It can be argued that mediation has the best chance for success when:
- Spouses do not come into the process with a “win at all costs” attitude. By its very nature, mediation will include compromises and give-and-take. Some people are not capable of doing that.
- Spouses can collaborate. In mediation, the parties work together to resolve the issues. This is different from a typical divorce, in which the lawyers for each side are the ones who do the back-and-forth communicating.
- Spouses can advocate for their positions. Some people will do anything to avoid conflict; mediation is a bad fit for that type of person. If one of the parties has a difficult time fighting for what he/she wants, then it’s unlikely the result will be fair.
- Spouses can understand and appreciate the other party’s positions.
It’s also important to weigh the level of emotion that’s involved. If emotion is driving one of the parties and he/she will not be able to set it aside, then mediation can be a difficult process.
What’s the goal?
Finally, “starting with the end in mind” is advice that applies many things, including divorce mediation. Remember that the goal with mediation is to arrive at a divorce agreement that: is fair, resolves all the issues and will be approved by a judge.
Would you like to know more?
If you have questions about mediation, contact a lawyer who has experience with divorce mediation.