When a couple comes to my office for the first time, I find that they often do not understand how the mediation process works or what the benefits are. Divorce mediation is a process for resolving conflict and coming to agreement during your divorce. A neutral mediator facilitates discussion between divorcing spouses and helps them to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation has many benefits compared to the traditional high conflict divorces that you read about in the newspaper.
Here are some of the benefits:
You and your spouse control the discussion and the outcome. You are able to focus on the topics that you want to discuss and settle. You, not the court, have control over the terms of your agreement.
It is more cost effective. You and your spouse will likely have to pay just one professional who is focused on helping you both reach agreement. By being more efficient, you and your spouse will preserve more of your assets.
The mediation process is faster than traditional divorce litigation. You and your spouse set your own timeframe for resolving issues. With divorce litigation you end up waiting months for the next court date or for when the lawyers and judge can synchronize their schedules. With divorce mediation, some couples are able to resolve their issues in just a couple of sessions.
There is increased privacy with mediation. The communications made during mediation are privileged and confidential. The mediation meetings are private and most often are held in the mediator’s office. With litigation, settlements and issues may be public. It is not the best scenario to have the issues related to your divorce discussed in a room full of strangers or in front of other people that you may know in your community.
Protects the Children
The mediation process protects children from the conflict at hand. Mediation does not require children to be observed or interviewed by professionals or to appear in court. Additionally, the adversarial nature of traditional divorce litigation may have long lasting effects upon the children. A mediator can help the parents focus on the children’s needs and best interests.
Better Relations Post Divorce
Mediation facilitates better post-divorce relations. In contrast to traditional divorce litigation, mediation seeks to increase understanding of each spouse’s needs and promotes mutual respect going forward. Additionally, if there is conflict in the future you can return to the same mediator to resolve disagreements in a timely and efficient manner.
If you have any questions or would like further information about the mediation process, please contact Ronald Hendrix at American Mediation Services, Inc. in Naperville IL at (630) 355-7740.