To answer that question let’s look at some of the issues divorcing couples face and the benefits of divorce mediation as compared to litigation.
Couples who are about to separate and divorce are understandably faced with very difficult problems. In their simplest terms, these problems are: How are they each going to be able to be the important influence in their children’s lives in the future that they have been in the past? What is going to happen to the property that is in their joint and individual names, and if they are going to divide it, how are they going to do that? How will each of them be able to manage financially following their separation and divorce, and what obligation, if any, should one of them have to the other (and to their children) to be concerned with how the other will be able to do that?
That leaves them with a choice. They can retain separate lawyers and go off and do legal battle with one another as a means of resolving these problems. Or they can sit down and, with the right help, resolve them on their own. If they go off to war, their objective will simply be to get as much as they can and to give as little as they have to. Nor will it make any difference if that victory is at the other’s expense. Since both of their lawyers will view their objective to be to win at any cost, neither will concern themselves with where that will leave the other, let alone whether he or she will be able to manage at all.
Comparing Divorce Mediation To Divorce Litigation
|Timing||Average 3-5 Meetings||Years|
|Definition of Problem||Personal/Practical||Legal Only|
|Effect on Children||Protected||Exposed|
|Control Over Decisions||Couple||Judges|
|Cost||On Average $2,000-$7,000||Tens of Thousands|
Divorce Mediation Professionals was founded in the belief that there can be only one rational choice here. Divorce is difficult enough as it is without making a game of it. (It is certainly far too important to be made into a legal tug of war in which one or both of you will invariably end up getting dragged through the mud.) To be sure, there will be very painful feelings that one or both of you may experience that can make it difficult for the two of you to sit down and attempt to deal with your problems in a responsible manner, as you would like to. Nevertheless, your common sense is enough to tell you that it makes far better sense to attempt to keep those painful feelings in check rather than to give them free reign, which is what always happens when divorcing spouses turn to adversarial divorce proceedings and engage in legal warfare.
This is particularly true if the two of you have children. It is always children who get caught in the middle of that tug of war, which necessarily calls into question their loyalties to one or both of their parents. Again, your common sense is enough to tell you that your children deserve to be sheltered from this. It is also enough to tell you that what your children will need when all of this is done and over are parents who can work together for their best interests, not parents who are bitter enemies. It is enough to tell you something else, as well, and that is that it is far better to save your money to put your children through college than it is to give it to lawyers to finance their children’s college educations.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
- Improved relationships between children and both parents.
- Significant cost savings (avoid the adversarial costs of drawing pleadings, making motions, appearing in court, etc.)
- Significant time savings (avoid the time and stress of litigation).
- More control over your decisions.
- Privacy as you work out an agreement in an open, cooperative atmosphere.
- Assistance in keeping emotions separate from practical decisions.
- Ability to resolve future issues in your agreement, thereby avoiding later disagreement.
- An informed process, so that each person fully understands the consequences of their decisions.