Divorce Mediation: What Is It And Does It Work?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

When most people think of a couple getting a divorce, they typically imagine arguing inside a courthouse in front of a judge. However, most divorces never get to that point. In fact, most divorce cases settle before they go to trial. Many couples can solve their problems through mediation, a highly effective alternative dispute resolution. As its name suggests, it is an alternative to the traditional adversarial system.

Mediation aims to unite the parties, whether in person or online, with or without their attorneys. Most clients hire attorneys even if they choose to mediate their cases. They are well-equipped in negotiation strategies and can frequently help clients get more out of their mediation sessions. Private mediation is held outside of the court system.

The benefits of mediation

Mediation is highly effective because it allows the parties to find solutions to their issues. While this is sometimes difficult for them to do on their own, it can be easier with the help of their attorneys. Mediators can also help identify each party’s specific and most important issues and negotiate from that standpoint.

What is necessary for effective mediation?

Mediation can take some time. Patience is necessary because the parties often arrive at mediation without identifying their most important issues. Sometimes it takes extensive discussion to arrive at a point where everyone feels comfortable sharing what they want.

Flexibility is essential in mediation, especially for the mediator and the attorneys, because all clients are different. Sometimes the parties sit in separate rooms with their attorneys. Mediators sometimes conduct mediations with everyone sitting around the same table. Either way, the mediator usually identifies the best approach based on the facts of the case and the relationship between the parties.

Both parties and their attorneys must commit to always acting in good faith during the mediation for it to succeed. The goal of mediation is for both parties to benefit and to remain in control of the decisions made in their case.

Mediation is highly effective, and when a couple can reach an agreement, that document can become binding and part of the official divorce decree, which is then signed by the judge. It is an excellent alternative to the traditional adversarial divorce process.