Top 10 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Top 10 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Divorce can be difficult, emotional, and confusing.  One of the biggest decisions you and your spouse will have to make is how you will divorce.  Litigated divorces are often long, expensive, and highly contentious.  Each side "lawyers up" and the so-called "battle" begins.  As you can imagine, and have probably heard, this can be a problematic way to end a marriage.  Divorce mediation offers a powerful alternative that allows divorcing spouses the ability to reach their own agreement with the following short and long-term benefits for you and your family:

  1. Better for you.  Litigation can be incredibly stressful.  Our legal system is adversarial in nature and not ideal for resolving family issues.  In comparison, mediation is a more cooperative process that fosters trust, good will, and positive relationships.
  2. Empowering.  In divorce mediation, you control how your divorce unfolds.  You decide what kinds of consulting professionals (attorneys, therapists, divorce coaches, accountants, etc.) you want to include in the process.  You determine what works best for you and ultimately, only you (not a judge) decide on what you agree to.  
  3. Flexible.  You can discuss anything in divorce mediation.  It's not limited to particular topics, so you can agree on anything from spousal support to how to introduce your children to future romantic partners.  Mediation is entirely your process.
  4. More Satisfying.  Judges cannot devote as much time as you may need to explain your situation.  The reality is, our courts are overwhelmed, and your divorce will likely receive less than a few minutes of attention.  Fortunately, mediation provides you the opportunity to speak and be heard
  5. Convenient.  In litigation, you have little control over when you will have to appear in court.  In comparison, you can schedule mediation sessions according to your calendar, even if that means evenings and weekends. 
  6. Saves Time.  Mediation sessions are often 2-3 hours in length, and an entire divorce mediation can take anywhere from 3-12 sessions.  That means, you can avoid being tied up in the court process for years and complete your mediation in just a few short months.
  7. Private.  Mediation is a confidential process, so your intimate details remain between you and your spouse.  In comparison, court files are public records that are accessible to anyone - including your kids.
  8. Affordable.  A litigated divorce can cost anywhere from $40,000 to upwards of $500,000, depending on the level of conflict.  In comparison, divorce mediation fees typically range between $3,000 to $15,000.  That means you can save upwards of 90% by choosing mediation over litigation.  You can pass on those savings to more productive things, like your children's education.
  9. Durable.  When you agree to do something, you are more likely to perform than when you are ordered to do it.  Your mediator does not make any decisions, only you do.  That means both you and your spouse are more likely to abide by whatever agreements you reach in mediation. 
  10. Better for your children.  Last, but certainly not least, mediation is better for your children.  Divorce can be traumatic for children.  It is your responsibility as a parent to protect your children's emotional well-being during your divorce.  Mediation allows for a more amicable relationship with your spouse after marriage, which translates to a more cooperative co-parenting relationship and an easier transition for your children.  Research suggests that children whose parents were more amicable during the divorce process reported better adjustment and had stronger relationships with their parents and siblings as adults.  Consider the long-term effects on your children when debating what road to take in your divorce.

These are just ten reasons why divorce mediation has become so popular!  Remember, divorce mediation is an option that is available at any stage of the divorce process.  You can always choose to go to court if you aren't satisfied with the results of your mediation.  Many divorce mediators provide a free consultation to explain how mediation can benefit you and your family.  Take advantage of the opportunity and learn about options beyond litigation available to you and your family.

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Written by: Scheherazade Rastegar See other articles by Scheherazade Rastegar
About the Author:

Scheherazade Rastegar is an attorney, mediator and executive director of MAC Services Group, a boutique dispute resolution firm based in downtown Los Angeles.  Her firm specializes in Divorce, Elder Care, Employment, and Personal Injury Mediation.  She serves as a Panel Mediator for the Los Angeles and Ventura Superior Courts, and was recently elected to the Board of the Southern California Mediation Association.  Visit MAC Services Group online at www.mac-sg.com, or contact Rastegar directly at srastegar@mac-sg.com or (310) 279-6102.

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