Often used in civil cases, mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution sometimes employed in divorce cases. A judge can rule for mediation, but disputing parties often come to it naturally. In those cases, both parties are more inclined to stick to their resolutions, even in divorce.
Mediation seeks common-ground resolutions. A mediator will guide the parties through respectful conversation to prioritize understanding. Through this, a divorcing couple may find an agreement with which they’re both happy.
How mediation works
Whether ruled by a judge or otherwise, mediation works differently from litigation or arbitration:
- Mediator: The disputing parties will both agree on a mediator to guide communication. This person is not an arbitrator and will not make rulings or take sides. Their goal is to help two sides in a dispute understand each other and inspire fair resolution.
- Outside of a courtroom: Mediation can happen anywhere, but neutral locations work best. Without the need for a courtroom, mediation often allows for the waiving of court fees and a reduced attorney rate. A divorcing couple may also schedule mediation sessions at their convenience and not dependent on a court’s schedule.
- Confidentiality: Anything said in a courtroom becomes a matter of public record. Not only can mediation prevent personal embarrassment, but it can keep things said in the heat of the moment from showing up in future lawsuits.
- Improved results, improved compliance: When the disputing parties are in control of the outcome, mediation helps produce better results. There is no winner or guilty party, with a resolution proposed and agreed upon by everyone. Since these agreements satisfy each party, compliance with mediated dispute resolution is higher than lawsuits.
Ask a lawyer about mediation
It is never easy when a marriage ends in divorce, but there are options for those looking to alleviate stress. Mediation can take the focus off the courtroom and allow disputing parties to engage in a constructive dialogue toward a more amicable resolution. Those hoping to maintain a productive relationship with a co-parent that prioritizes the wellbeing of children have found a lot of success working with a lawyer experienced in divorce mediation.