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How To Keep Your Divorce Out Of Court: The Benefits Of Mediation

The final decision on how you divide your assets and child custody matters do not always have to determined by a judge. Alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) are encouraged amongst separating couples because it’s more likely they will abide by a decision they had a hand in creating.

In addition to being a generally faster and more cost-effective process in most cases, ADR allows the parties involved to shape an outcome more suited to their individual needs.

To effectively resolve your issues with your former partner, it’s best to consult with a family law lawyer skilled in alternative dispute resolution techniques. They can guide you on how best to position your goals and the best way to negotiate a settlement that both parties can agree on.

You may be able to meet with a mediator to determine if mediation can be done fairly and there’s no abuse or pressure. They will also confirm that both parties possess the capacity to enter into an agreement.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process where a third party moderates a discussion between two parties. The purpose of mediation is to help each party see the other person’s point of view and understand their concerns. With this understanding, it’s hoped the parties will be able to reach a solution that satisfies both.

The Benefits

  • Use of a neutral third party to facilitate the conversation. Known as a mediator, this neutral third party allows your voice to be heard through a facilitated conversation
  • It’s generally faster than going to court, although this is dependant on how long it takes the parties to arrive at a solution they can both agree on
  • Usually cheaper than going to court, although not in every case
  • You and your former partner have control over the process – picking the mediator, what information to disclose, and most importantly, the outcome

The Process

  • It’s voluntary, which means you can’t force your former partner to participate. Both parties must agree to the process.
  • The mediator helps the parties understand each other, and guides them towards a compromise or another type of agreement. They do not make decisions for the parties.
  • You and your former partner agree to the frequency, where and how you meet (for example, in the same room or in different rooms if necessary).
  • The mediator will not provide legal advice. You should consult a lawyer before you enter mediation

In the end, mediation may not solve every issue. But it may help you resolve some, which will reduce the number of issues you need to bring to court.

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