The Advantages and Disadvantages of Divorce Mediation
For many couples, the idea of going through a divorce is nerve-wracking, especially if they take it to court. Litigation can be lengthy and expensive, so many couples consider divorce mediation instead. Having a trained mediator help to iron out the details is extremely helpful, and even the most argumentative of exes can successfully go through the mediation process. However, it’s not best for everybody.
Before making your decision, let’s take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of divorce mediation.
Advantage: You Have More Control
When you go through the litigation process, the judge has the final say and makes the decisions. Keep in mind that you’re not the only divorce case they have to oversee that day, and they only have a limited amount of time to handle your case. Only you and your partner understand the details of your situation, and with divorce mediation, you can tailor your decisions to meet both of your needs.
Advantage: Issues Get Resolved Faster
While judges want to handle your case as swiftly as possible, it can take up to three months for an uncontested divorce and a year for a contested divorce to finalize. Divorce mediation can take a few weeks, even for couples that don’t agree with one another. At most, it takes about three or four months. Not only does mediation save you time, but it also saves you money. You won’t have to spend extra cash on a lawyer, and you can meet up on a schedule that works for you and your partner, so you don’t have to take time off of work.
Disadvantage: It May Prolong the Inevitable
No matter how much you try and come to a reasonable solution, you may have to go through the court process anyway. People often forget that mediators aren’t divorce counselors—they’re neutral third parties. They can’t resolve all of your issues, and if you’re not willing to work together from the beginning, you’re wasting your time with mediation. If you feel like this method won’t work but you still want to keep your case out of court, consider the pros and cons of collaborative divorce versus mediation.
Disadvantage: Not Suitable for Complex Cases
If you and your partner have complex assets, or there are drugs, alcohol, or abuse in your relationship, divorce mediation isn’t suitable for you. If there’s a power imbalance, there’s a chance that one partner may feel pressured to bend to the will of the other. In these cases, the litigation process is safer because it offers more legal protections. Then, you don’t have to spend so much time working things out with your ex, who may not have your best interests in mind.
Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?
Now that you know more about the advantages and disadvantages of divorce mediation, you can decide if divorce mediation is right for you. Just because you and your ex don’t agree on everything doesn’t mean mediation isn’t on the table; you don’t even have to sit in the same room with one another. However, if you feel like your ex may try to sway things, make things purposefully difficult, or use a power imbalance against you, go through the litigation process. While it may seem scary and uncomfortable, remember that the courts will do what they can to protect you and your family’s interests.