Few couples choose divorce without careful consideration. Parents, in particular, must consider all the challenges their family will face during divorce negotiations.
To reduce these stressors, parents can consider using mediation to negotiate their divorce agreements. The use of mediation for divorce has increased significantly over the past 20 years. So how can parents benefit?
Mediation offers families several benefits
With civil cases involving kids, judges will always rule for what is in the children’s best interests. Mediation allows parents to learn communication and collaboration techniques that can benefit a family for years. Mediation serves families with the following benefits:
- Confidential negotiations: In a courtroom, a court stenographer records a transcript of everything said. Court transcripts are public record, so anyone can request a copy. If co-parents must renegotiate terms in the future, those past transcripts may resurface, rehashing old and painful arguments. With mediation, every discussion is entirely confidential.
- Choice of mediator: Couples can choose any neutral party to mediate their divorce. Many professional mediators will leverage their training in communication and collaboration techniques to help spouses listen to each other, understand and compromise. Find the right mediator will help draft a mutually beneficial resolution.
- Accommodating schedule: Courtroom litigation must happen in a courtroom, but mediation can happen in any neutral location accessible by all parties. Often, divorcing couples may have to wait months for an opening in a packed courtroom schedule. With mediation, negotiations can begin immediately.
- Less expensive: Families will take a close look at finances during divorce and likely want every opportunity to save money. Couples using mediation do not have to pay court fees for personnel or scheduling. Many lawyers charge lower rates for mediation and some courts may even cover a mediator’s fee.
- Better results: More couples report greater satisfaction with mediated negotiations than standard. Negotiations drafted with mediation focus on compromise and empathy. Neither party will agree to any of the terms without fully understanding why. In a courtroom, a judge may find another party at fault and rule for unfavorable terms. These one-sided rulings can create resentment and lead the way for future disputes.
Secure legal help
Parents considering divorce can find answers with a local attorney familiar with divorce law. A lawyer can recommend mediators, help draft agreements and work with the courts.