The goal of divorce mediation is to allow the divorcing couple to reach agreements that meet their needs as well as the needs of their children without the financial and emotional cost of a court battle. This process has several advantages over litigation, including less stress, lower cost, more flexibility, and better outcomes for families.
Divorce Mediation Is Less Stressful
A traditional contested divorce typically breeds and reinforces feelings of insecurity and animosity. In divorce mediation, a neutral third party assists you and your spouse in reaching amicable agreements about your divorce. This means less stress and an easier transition for you and your entire family. People tend to be more distracted and less efficient while going through a divorce. Successful mediation takes away the stress factor so that your divorce doesn’t stall your whole life.
Mediation Costs Up To 60% Less Than Contested Divorce
A mediator does not have to be a lawyer and does not represent either party. Even if the mediator is a lawyer, they cannot offer legal advice in their role as mediator, and they will not tell you what to do. Divorce mediation also does not typically require the hiring of outside experts like contested divorce so often does. And, of course, court costs are significantly reduced. This all adds up to big savings.
On average, the typical cost of divorce mediation is 40-60% less than a contested divorce. The cost of mediation depends on the complexity of dividing assets, parenting schedules, and other concerns, however, the cost will usually still be significantly less even in very complex cases
Mediation is More Flexible Than Traditional Divorce
The negotiation process in mediation is relatively relaxed, and lines of communication are kept open. This allows for brainstorming of unique solutions to fit the needs of each family versus being processed through what may feel like a cookie-cutter solution devised by a judge in a litigation case. The cooperative approach makes options available in mediation that are not possible in a litigated divorce. As long as you and your spouse agree on the details you should be able to divide your assets and handle child affairs however you see fit. This flexibility can make negotiations far simpler.
Divorce Mediation Produces Better Outcomes For Families
Perhaps the greatest benefit of mediation is that it is a child-friendly process. Custody battles are often damaging to children, especially when they are called to testify in court. Mediation spares children exposure to confrontation and messy details. Keeping your kids happy and well-adjusted throughout your divorce process is priceless.
Negotiating an agreement together (as opposed to speaking through attorneys) also offers divorcing spouses the ability to shift the conversation and to process the story of their marriage differently. This process often ultimately leads to feelings of empowerment, with far less dissatisfaction than a traditional contested divorce.
Collaborative Practice Kansas City, LLC is a Kansas City area community of independent legal, mental health, and financial professionals working in concert to create client-centered processes for resolving divorce conflict. For more information, contact a Collaborative Practice team member at 913-380-2560 or click here.