What is Mediation? Mediation is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. A third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
1) Mediation Puts Your Children First
Do you really want your child taking the stand in family law court, being forced to answer the question, ‘Do you want to live with your mother or your father?’ That’s exactly what could happen in litigation if you do not mediate. Divorce is especially difficult on children. The privacy and amiability of mediation will help protect your children. Your mediator’s job is to not only focus on you and your spouse individually, but also your children. They will help you and your spouse come to an unbiased resolution in the best interest of all involved. Do not forget that even though you won’t be husband and wife anymore, you will always be their mom and dad.
2) Less Stress for Both Parties
Divorce certainly comes with some stress. However, a mediator can help ease the stress of divorce by helping to make sure the details are handled. When you choose mediation, a professional takes over the job of the all the details. A mediator will cover every aspect of your case, including details that you never considered. Unlike a litigated divorce, in the mediation process, there is no taking sides. You will work together with your spouse and the mediator, and come to a peaceful solution.
3) Affordable and Cost-Effective
When going through a divorce, money is the last thing you want to add to your list of worries. If you choose to go through traditional litigation, April 2013 issue of The Wall Street Journal reported couples can spend upwards of $32,000, and that’s if “all goes well” in your divorce case. In most cases, attorney-litigated divorces don’t end up “going well,” and even more money ends up spent. Thankfully, mediation offers a far more cost effective option.
4) Mediation is Personal and Specific to Your Case
Let’s be honest. There’s nothing about a courthouse that feels personal. In a court case you can feel like you’re just part of a process and that your case isn’t getting any real attention. When you choose mediation, you choose personal interaction with a professional. Mediation is the best way to ensure that all the aspects of your divorce are tailored to your individual experience.
5) Your Privacy is Protected
Court cases are public. Anyone can sit in and hear the intimate details of your divorce case. For many of us, that is not ideal. Thankfully, mediation is private. All conversations are privileged and confidential except under extraordinary circumstances. Because of this, you can feel completely comfortable to confide in your mediator and your privacy will be protected.
6) Allows for Greater Post Divorce Stability
When you choose mediation, you opt out of the argument-based feel of court litigation. Mediation focuses on improving each party’s understanding of the other side. This helps couples learn the tools of effective communication, which will benefit you for years to come. You may even use your mediator to settle future disputes. Your mediator can help moderate, settle disputes and clarify or modify your agreement as time goes by. Your mediator already knows your agreement, is attuned to your families’ issues and dynamic and can be on standby, able to quickly step in when you need it.
7) Less Formal
When you’re going through the tough process of a divorce, it is so encouraging to be in a comfortable situation. The traditional court system can feel stuffy, impersonal, and formal. You worry about what you wear, what to bring, and what not to bring. You worry about the right things to say in court. With mediation, you avoid all of that.
8) Effective Conversation
Effective conversation is the most obvious benefit of mediation, but no one can deny its value. We have all been in a situation where we felt like a conversation was going nowhere fast. Especially when going through the divorce process, deciding on plans for the future can feel like a never ending game of tug-of-war. Mediation turns an unproductive argument into successful negotiation. With the right attorney by your side during mediation, your divorce can be a smooth and productive process. Attorney Martha Hall at Hall & Navarro is a Certified General Domestic and Juvenile Mediator, Certified Parent Coordinator in Georgia, and an experienced domestic law attorney.