Advantages of Mediation in Divorce
In mediated divorces, mediators facilitate an environment and provide leadership to assist spouses in conducting discussions they probably could not have had because of the deteriorated state of their relationship. Parties have more control and are able to navigate their divorce settlements with less conflict than conventional adversarial divorces. In fact, there are many advantages of mediated divorce.
Legal Costs Savings
A typical mediated divorce usually has several to a dozen sessions, at a cost of $1,000 to $2,000 for a mediator before the process concludes with a negotiated agreement that resolves parenting plans, child support, alimony, and property distribution. In all, a typical mediated divorce costs less than $3,500, even after factoring in separate legal fees.
The alternative is a conventional divorce, which may be litigated for one to five years and cost more than $20,000. After seeing simple average cost and time savings, it is easy to understand why mediation has gained popularity for divorce options.
Who would choose court battles for five years to end a marriage when four to 12 sessions with a mediator, each taking just a few hours, would suffice to achieve the same ultimate agreement on custody, support, and property distribution, and a mediated divorce settlement is possible in a few short months? If the end result is going to be the same, who would not want to get there as efficiently and quickly as possible?
Better Quality of and Future Commitment to Agreement(s)
Conventional divorces suffer from a high rate of failure in settlements. Some statistics report that as many as half of all conventional settlements are subject to litigation within two years of the divorce. The stress of litigation backs some parties into corners, and they find themselves agreeing to positions they later cannot tolerate and to which they do not feel fully committed.
Mediated divorces, on the other hand, enjoy a higher degree of compliance and commitment to agreements reached because they are negotiated agreements obtained voluntarily by willing participants engaged in an active process. It is not a surprise that less than five percent of such agreements are subject to future litigation.
Improved Quality of Communication During and After Divorce
After divorce, effects of mediation continue. Parents who divorce are often able to cooperate and facilitate custody arrangements with greater ease when mediation is used. Mediation encourages them to master new ways to communicate regarding coordination of childcare issues. Respectful, cordial, problem-solving, professional behavior is required and encouraged for successful mediations, and those same traits help parents later solve issues related to children. In mediation, couples actually communicate, and lawyers do little of the work, so the individuals have more of a foundation upon which to build their post-divorce communications.
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