Contrary to what movies and television may perceive, going through a divorce does not need to be a contentious process. In fact, for couples that want to end their marriage as stress-free and collaborative as possible, there are other options besides court proceedings.
Mediation is one option that more couples are choosing. It is beneficial in many ways and allows for more cooperation and communication between the two parties.
Overview of mediation
According to the Florida Courts, mediation uses a neutral third party to help two parties work through disputes. In regard to divorce, a mediator experienced in family law helps both spouses create a fair divorce agreement. The mediator may guide discussions surrounding asset and debt division, future living situations, spousal support and child custody.
When there are disagreements, or neither party is willing to negotiate, the mediator has the skills to work through the issues and come up with creative solutions. If there are complex financial issues, the process may include the involvement of professionals such as an accountant or financial advisor. Oftentimes, it will take a series of sessions to come to a final agreement.
Benefits of mediation
As they say, time is money, and one of the benefits of mediation is that it is usually a much shorter process than court litigation. According to FindLaw, it is also less expensive. In fact, court proceedings can cost up to ten times as much as mediation. It is also less costly emotionally, as the stress and disputes are minimum. If there is an involvement of children, mediation is especially helpful in keeping emotions in check and setting a good foundation for good communication between the parents.
Another benefit of mediation is that the discussions and outcome are confidential. For high-asset cases, this is advantageous over court litigation because court proceedings and the final verdict are public.