There are a number of significant benefits of divorce mediation, including:
- Avoid Court: Divorce mediation clients do not go to court. The only court involvement is when a judge signs the judgment that gets sent in at the end of the successful mediation.
- Faster Agreements: Litigated cases often take six to nine months or more. Recent budget cuts have threatened to reduce the number of days courts will operate. Reduced court hours means it will take longer to get your day in court. Divorce mediation occurs on the participants’ timeline, so a mediated agreement can be accomplished must quicker than through the court system.
- Client Control: Divorce mediation allows participants to retain control over their own agreement rather than leaving it up to a judge who is not familiar with their family. Further, this process allows people to make agreements that work best for their family which otherwise could not be ordered by a court due to a court’s limited authority.
- Reduced Cost: Litigation is expensive and the total cost is highly unpredictable. Divorce mediation typically costs less because the focus is on resolution, not battle. The cost is fairly predictable because after the first meeting or two the mediator and participants should have a good idea about how many meetings will be required.
- Client Satisfaction: Divorce mediation participants report high degrees of satisfaction with the process as well as the outcome compared to litigation clients. Even if litigants are satisfied with the outcome of a case, they are often dissatisfied with the cost, stress, uncertainty and acrimony associated with litigation.
- Maintain Your Privacy: Divorce mediation is a private process, unlike litigation which plays out in a public courtroom. Further, litigation often generates many public documents that include allegations and other "dirty laundry."
- Your Own Timeline: Divorce mediation participants create their own timeline. The case can move at the pace that best suits your family. Litigation clients are subject to the timeline and appearance requirements of the court system.
- Preservation of Relationships: The preservation of relationships is often important to clients, especially when kids are involved. One of the reasons divorce mediation works so well is because it assists the parties in communicating with each other. Participants often report they have not communicated so well in years!
These are just a few of the benefits of divorce mediation. There are certainly other benefits as well - some or all of which may be more important than the ones listed here. Sometimes people have objections to mediation. Forrest has written an article about objections to mediation and responses to those objections.