One of the first things people think about when divorce is imminent is the level of stress associated with litigation. The second thing is the cost.
Mediation is an option that reduces the strain and expense of a traditional divorce and offers other benefits worth considering.
Setting the stage
Mediation takes place outside of court, usually in a more relaxed office environment. A trained mediator provides guidance to the divorcing couple as they work together to develop a mutually satisfactory divorce agreement. Also, most couples are budget conscious. They find that mediation is a much less time-consuming process than litigation and therefore considerably less costly.
Topics to address
Through mediation, a couple can address all the issues they would have had to face during litigation. The difference is that they are free to make their own decisions rather than having to adhere to the decisions a judge would make. Main topics include property division, the parenting plan, child support, spousal support and any relevant business division matters.
Communication is key
The key to successful mediation is open communication between the parties. When a sticking point arises, the mediator can provide brainstorming assistance and guide the couple in finding solutions to conflicts. The mediator also strives to keep frustration and anger out of the negotiations. Once the doors of communication open, the atmosphere becomes less tense and the level of stress goes down. As a mediation bonus, the methods used for effective, respectful discussion will often continue into the post-divorce world for parents, especially, who must go on working as a team to raise their children.