Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, meaning it provides an option to resolve a dispute other than traditional litigation. Traditional litigation generally takes place within the courthouse and is subject to strict rules while mediation has a bit more flexibility. Additional benefits of mediation can include:
- Efficient. The mediation process essentially involves a neutral third party who serves as a mediator and the couple who is going through a divorce. It does not require courtroom hearings and is not subject to the court’s calendar. The only scheduling issues that arise generally involve these three parties. As a result, the process is generally completed in a much timelier manner when compared to traditional litigation.
- Cost-effective. Due to the efficient nature of the process, it often translates to a less expensive process as well.
- Control. The goal of mediation is to negotiate a settlement agreement both parties can agree to follow. This means the parties are putting together the agreement and making decisions during negotiations, not the court. This also allows for a more customized agreement, tailored to each family’s specific situation.
- Private. Mediation is confidential. The mediators will not disclose information and the sessions are generally not recorded. The information shared through traditional litigation, in contrast, is generally public.
- Successful. Agreements developed through mediation often have greater compliance compared to those finalized through litigation. This may be because both parties are more actively involved in the process.
Those who are interested in pursuing the mediation process can find an experienced mediator to help guide the negotiations. Mediation remains a viable option to finalize a divorce, even during the current coronavirus pandemic. This is because all parties involved can complete negotiations using remote meetings and can sign digital documents.