When your marriage is breaking up, it’s easy to focus on your personal hurt and grief. Divorce can result from extreme disappointment or betrayal that can make it difficult to remain positive. A couple who then goes through the tumult and tension of a litigated divorce may have additional strain on their relationship, which can be devastating if you must then co-parent.
For many couples facing the pain of divorce, mediation offers a more positive method of ending their marriages. While mediation is not right for every divorce, for couples who are willing to cooperate and do not want to carry more negative baggage into the future, mediation may help them meet their goals.
The benefits of mediation
A traditional litigated divorce involves each spouse arguing for what he or she wants. In many cases, there is one winner, but few couples emerge satisfied with the outcome. Mediation allows you and your spouse to discuss and negotiate the issues about which you disagree. With the guidance of a trained mediator, a neutral third party, you and your spouse have a better chance of arriving at a divorce agreement that will benefit both of you and that you can sustain for years to come. Other benefits include the following:
- Whatever you discuss during mediation remains confidential, and your settlement is not a matter of public record.
- You may learn new ways to communicate and problem-solve with your spouse that will prove helpful in the years to come.
- Mediation is usually less expensive, less time consuming and less formal than a courtroom divorce.
- In most cases, spouses can resolve all the issues of their divorce without having to go to court.
- You have the opportunity to seek creative solutions to your disputes, which a litigated divorce may not allow.
- Mediation is less confrontational than litigation, so you are less likely to feel the escalation of destructive emotions.
- You and your spouse remain in control of the process and its outcome instead of giving the decision-making over to a judge.
- You can involve others, such as financial advisors or divorce coaches, and each of you has the option of having individual legal counsel for your own protection.
In fact, having a legal professional on your side is a wise idea. Your attorney will understand Pennsylvania divorce laws and work to guide you in agreeing to decisions that will not violate your rights. Finding an attorney with experience in alternative dispute resolution methods is key to a successful mediation.