There are a few non-traditional models of divorce that don’t force you and your spouse to drag your family into court. I’ve posted before about one of these models in the 8 Advantages to Collaborative Divorce. Like Collaborative Divorce, mediation offers an alternative, private way to separate and avoid litigation. A neutral party– the mediator–will work through the process with you. The mediator is not a judge – and thus cannot make decisions for you – but he or she can facilitate discussions leading to resolution of conflict and issues. Done right, it can be quite an empowering process.
Here’s how mediation works. The couples meet together in sessions during which the mediator helps them identify the issues that need to be resolved, talk through what is most important to each of them and generate options to solve the problems they face.
Like Collaborative, mediation has multiple advantages:
- Enhanced communication (compared to litigation).
- Aims to find creative solutions to problems like how to split up the marital assets and debts.
- Costs less than litigation, because you don’t have to pay for formal discovery, a court hearing or trial preparation.
- The time frame is based on the needs of the family as opposed to the court’s schedule.
- The process is confidential.
- A more relaxed atmosphere that’s hospitable to creativity and cooperation.
- Like Collaborative, the mediation framework lets you make decisions without the intrusion of a judge.
- Your team and your attorneys are invested in a solid, equitable outcome; in litigation, by contrast, the judge may not particularly care about the outcome and may just want to clear his or her calendar.
Do you have further questions about starting your divorce process?