When a couple decides to get a divorce, they may assume their only option is litigation. Having a divorce litigated can be a long, arduous process that few people look forward to experiencing.
There are other options for couples that can allow them to resolve their differences in divorce without having to go to court. One popular alternative is divorce mediation.
What is divorce mediation?
There is some confusion about what divorce mediation is. Essentially, using mediation as a method for settling a divorce allows couples to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom. These agreements are reached collaboratively by both parties.
Couples will typically meet for a series of mediation sessions. These sessions usually last for 1-2 hours. The couple will be joined by a mediator to help them work through their disagreements. In addition to helping to facilitate the conversation, the mediator can also provide guidance about how divorce issues are typically resolved.
Once the couples have reached a final agreement, the mediator will draft an agreement that both parties can review. After an agreement is reached, the mediation documents are submitted along with the rest of the couple’s divorce paperwork.
Using mediation as an alternative to litigating a divorce provides several advantages for couples, including:
- Mediation typically takes less time to complete than going through a court
- Couples that use mediation tend to be more likely to follow divorce agreements
- Using mediation allows a couple to keep their information private
When mediation may not be the correct option
While mediation offers a lot of benefits that makes it an attractive alternative to litigation, it may not be an option for every couple. Couples with a history of domestic violence, for example, may not want to choose a mediation setting for settling their divorce.
It’s also true that not every couple is going to be able to settle their differences and reach an agreement in mediation. In those instances, litigation may be the only option available for a couple to get their divorce finalized.
Divorce mediation can be a great outlet for couples, although it may not make sense in every situation. Knowing the potential costs and benefits of using divorce mediation can help you understand whether it’s a good option for you.