In almost every divorce, a court will order the parties to attend meditation at some point. This is always a good thing, and as in every step of the divorce process, it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons of the process to protect your assets.
What Goes On During Mediation?
During mediation, both parties and their attorneys will meet with a third-party mediator in an effort to come to a resolution to avoid going to trial. The mediator:
- may be court appointed,
- may or may not be a lawyer, or
- maybe a private mediator paid for by both parties
What’s the Reasoning Behind Mediation?
The end goal is for the mediator to bring both parties to a resolution. The mediator will try to make both parties uncomfortable about what will happen if they try the case. The mediator will point out weak points and talk about the uncertainty of a trial. The reasoning behind mediation is that if both sides are uncomfortable with an unknown outcome, they will move toward the center and strike a deal.
What are the Cons of Mediation?
There are none. Nothing said during mediation is recorded, as any information gathered here cannot be used as evidence. However, to be effective, both lawyers and parties need to be aggressive. If one party is timid and the other is more assertive, the outcome of mediation could be skewed in favor of one party.
What are the Pros of Mediation?
It is less expensive than going to court if you settle. You can leave the session at any time if you’re unsatisfied with the trajectory. However, you may find yourself settling the case and never have to go to court. A large percentage of divorce cases are actually settled during mediation. Even if you don’t settle, you’ll have a better grasp of the other side’s wants and you’ll be better prepared for court.
From an emotional standpoint, mediation can help promote a healthier settlement that can even foster a future, civil relationship between the two parties.
The majority of the time, mediation is a necessary, helpful step in the divorce process. Even before it is court-ordered, many lawyers will recommend attending mediation after the discovery step, where each lawyer finds out the other’s position on issues. At the end of the day, the mediation process can bring you closer to finalizing the divorce and moving on with your new beginning.