Mediation can be a powerful tool when it comes to dispute resolution. As both individuals involved have more of a say over the outcome during mediation, it is becoming increasingly popular for couples to resolve their divorce issues with this method. While there are many benefits to using mediation, there are also a few potential drawbacks to be mindful of as well. Today, we review the pros and cons of mediation to help you decide if this is the right path for you and your spouse to take.
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Benefits of Mediation
In many cases, when a dispute arises during divorce proceedings it causes a rift between the two people involved. Mediation offers a bridge, rebuilding that communication by bringing both parties together on neutral ground to resolve their issues with the help of a neutral third party. Everyone is then able to share their needs, questions, and concerns, in hopes of repairing the relationship and reaching an amicable resolution. Additional benefits of mediation include but are not limited to the following:
- Allows both parties to communicate openly and directly
- Provides Certainty of results
- Avoids the uncertainty of a court decision
- Maintains privacy and confidentiality throughout
- Provides the potential to reduce costs and save time
- Accessibility (available earlier than litigation)
- Allows room for negotiation and persuasion
- Preserves the relationship between the parties involved
Uncertainty during court leads many individuals to choosing mediation as they want more control over how their divorce issues are resolved. In fact, mediation can resolve disputes before a divorce case is filed in court.
Disadvantages of Mediation
Mediation can have its drawbacks as well. If you and your spouse are unable to negotiate, mediation may seem like a dead end. The process could also end up costing you more money in the long run if you have to go through months of mediation sessions only to find you need to resolve your issues in court. Mediation is only successful when the two parties involved are committed to resolving their differences. The other negative sides of meditation include but are not limited to the following:
- May be expensive (especially if you must negotiate for months on end)
- Resolution may prove difficult if one party does not want to cooperate
- Issues regarding an agreement may still require court enforcement
- One spouse may feel the agreement was unfair, especially if one spouse had the guidance of an attorney while the other did not
- Mediation sessions do not offer the formality or structure that courts do, so it may feel like the issues and conversations are scattered at times
- Mediation isn't for individuals who have experienced domestic violence.
In most cases, mediation is attempted first due to its short list of disadvantages and numerous benefits. A couple who can work out their differences during mediation sessions is more likely to be able to co-parent together effectively. If this is possible, mediation can lead to a quick final resolution. However, there are cases where mediation will not work for the couple pursuing a divorce. If you and your spouse have a difficult time getting along, cannot compromise, or if one of you is more concerned about the financial aspects of the divorce, mediation may not be the best option for you.
Retain the Legal Services of a New Jersey Divorce Mediator
Each divorce must be evaluated independently to determine if mediation would be a good option to pursue. In the event you are considering mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method, it would be advisable to speak with an experienced attorney first. At Lane & Lane, LLC, we provide comprehensive mediation services for clients looking to resolve their divorce issues amicably.