Divorce is often complicated. You and your partner have built a life together. It is natural if the process of divvying up that life is difficult and stressful. However, there are ways that you can limit the stress and costs of the process.
Because it is a collaborative process, mediation is often an attractive option for couples who are still on fairly amicable terms.
How does mediation work?
During mediation, both parties meet to negotiate and—hopefully—reach an agreement about the terms of divorce. The process is called mediation because a third party is present at the meetings to help the negotiation go smoothly.
The idea behind mediation is that both sides will work together to come up with a solution. However, mediation may not always be the best decision for every situation.
Pros of mediation:
- It is an amicable way to go about divorce, as parties work directly with one another to come up with a solution.
- If the process goes smoothly, mediation can save both parties a lot of money in legal fees.
- It keeps the important decisions in the hands of the spouses. A judge won’t have the final say.
- It can be an easier process for the children.
Cons of mediation:
- It may result in a loss of time and resources. If the parties cannot come to an agreement during mediation, they will most likely have to start the process over again.
- Because all financial assets are disclosed voluntarily, mediation leaves room for a spouse to potentially hide assets.
- It may lead to unfair deals, especially if one spouse tends to be more domineering than the other.
When does mediation work?
Mediated divorces work best when both partners believe that they will be able to work out any disputes fairly between themselves.
However, for relationships with uneven financial or power dynamics, mediation may lead to undesirable outcomes for one party.