When big and difficult life transitions such as divorce arise, working with a mediator can be extremely helpful. Often, the knee-jerk, fearful, reaction is to go directly to litigation and legal action, but mediation usually provides more constructive and beneficial-to-all-parties results than other options. While there are some instances where legal action may be required, there are a number of reasons for you to consider choosing divorce mediation before you hire a lawyer.

1. Mediation can save both parties a lot of money

Some research shows that mediation can cut the financial burden of divorce by more than 70 percent. Saving money on the divorce means more money to be split between parties.

2. Mediation is more flexible than litigation

When the court gets involved, you’re at the whim of the judge to choose times and dates of appearances. This leaves YOU with very little flexibility, possibly for months on end. In mediation, appointments will be set according to you and the other party’s schedule during the mediator’s business hours. Mediation is not guided by the technical procedures of the court, so you can feel more relaxed, comfortable and in control.

3. Mediation is more private

While there ARE some documents that must be legally filed with the court, the process of arriving at your decisions isn’t documented publically as most courtroom proceedings are. You’re able to keep private issues private and not accessible to those who don’t need to know your business.

4. Mediation is more durable

Because the results of mediation are achieved by getting the parties to work together toward agreements, and not imposed and enforced by the courts, people are more likely to comply with the terms of the agreement. Both parties are generally more satisfied with the results because both parties are involved in developing the solution!

5. Mediation is better for the kids

Seeking mutual resolution, rather than entering a courtroom battle, spares the kids a great deal of emotional grief. Divorce is hard enough for kids, and mediation can not only ease some of that difficulty, but also sets you up for success in learning to communicate and deal with one another post divorce. If the kids are old enough, they may also have a voice in the issues at hand, allowing them to speak into their changing life situation.

Divorce and family issues are never easy or fun to deal with, mediation can lead to a better result and less stress than litigation…now and in the future.

Featured photo from here, labeled for commercial reuse.

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