Is Mediation Suitable For You?
Many who are considering divorce would also consider the option of mediation rather than litigation for the following reasons:
- It helps you save on expenses as court litigation is extremely costly
- It takes much less time than the average court-based divorce
- Mediation sessions are private compared to court proceedings that are on public record
- Relationships suffer less, which is especially important for parents who need to continue to interact
- It allows couples to have more control and arrive at a solution based on their own ideas of what is fair
Now that the advantages of mediation have been explained, you may be wondering if mediation is suitable for you. Mediation is likely to be beneficial for you if:
The decision to divorce is mutual
If both spouses have come to the decision that the marriage is over at the same point in time then it is more likely that mediation will be successful since both spouses wish to arrive at an agreeable settlement to end the marriage. Should one party wish to divorce against the desires of the other party, it is likely that the party who does not wish to divorce will put up significant resistance. However, even if that is the case, you should not rule out mediation but perhaps give it more time before starting mediation.
You wish to stay on good terms with your spouse
Mediation is a good option if you hope to remain amicable with your spouse out of the need to adhere to personal values or out of consideration for your children. The process of mediation encourages parties to communicate and negotiate to arrive at a settlement agreeable to both parties which is definitely more beneficial for the relationship between parties compared to going to court.
Your spouse has not lied about anything important
If your spouse has lied to you during the marriage, you may wish to consider if your spouse is likely to be truthful during negotiations. In the event that your spouse has previously lied about issues regarding finance and property, it may be advisable to consult a mediation trained divorce lawyer about other ways to ascertain important facts independently. Work closely with your lawyer so that you do not rely solely on your spouse to provide information.
You are not easily intimidated by your spouse and physical violence is not an issue in the relationship
In some cases it is difficult for the victim of abuse to negotiate with the abuser. However, do not reject the option of mediation from the start. Some victims of domestic violence have found it empowering to meet the abuser on the level playing field of a mediation session. It is important in this aspect to choose an experienced divorce lawyer whom you are comfortable with and can act as a pillar of support to prevent you from being intimidated into an unfair settlement.
Ms Gloria James is a trained Family Law Mediator, experienced in making sure that separating couples cover all terms and settlement issues when employing the mediation process. As a certified Associate Mediator, Collaborative Practice Lawyer and trained negotiator, Ms James has presided over many cases with successful resolution.