Once a couple decides that they are going to proceed with a divorce there are many options they can choose from. You have selected the option of divorce mediation which has shown to result in several short- term and long- term benefits. The main benefits of divorce mediation are as follows;
COST EFFECTIVE: Mediation is less expensive than traditional litigation. Simply choosing to divorce by mediation can save you several thousand dollars! For example, the average divorce in New Jersey costs between twenty-five thousand and fifty thousand ($25,000-$50,000) dollars. However, the average divorce by mediation in New Jersey costs approximately between two thousand and three thousand ($2,000-$3,000) dollars. It is not uncommon for couples to have a divorce that takes several years in traditional litigation. In these types of high conflict divorces, costs can exceed one hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars for each attorney.
In divorce mediation, both spouses hire one mediator, to work for both parties. In traditional litigation, each spouse retains their own attorney. The cost of one mediator is significantly lower than the costs associated with hiring two attorneys. The hourly rates for mediation also tend to be much lower than hourly rates for traditional divorce attorneys. In addition to lower fees, mediation is much quicker and efficient. The fees are significantly reduced by the reduced amount of time spent to mediate the case.
FAMILY-FOCUSED: Mediation is better for children and more family-focused than the court system. In mediation, you and your spouse are making the decisions that are best for your children and family. You create parenting plans that are tailored specifically to your child. All children and families are different. Mediation allows you to work with your spouse in determining an individualized parenting plan for each child.
In traditional litigation, children can be called to witness stands and may be privy to different types of questioning in intimidating settings. Attorneys go back and forth to “win” what their client wants for their child. In mediation, the best interest of the children always comes first.
Since mediation is a more “peaceful” approach, spouses are less stressed during the divorce process. This allows the parent to be more present for children dealing with the difficult transition of divorce. Since spouses aren’t exhausted and stressed from the high conflict associated with litigation, the entire family system benefits.
CLIENT DRIVEN VS COURT DRIVEN: With the divorce mediation method, you have complete control of the outcome. A court room can be very intimidating! When you arrive at court, there are several unknowns of what the outcome will be. There are no “unknowns” in divorce mediation. You and your spouse make all decisions related to your divorce agreement. There is no judge deciding how many overnights you will have with your children. You and your spouse have complete control and predictability of the outcome of your divorce. This reduces fear, stress, and anxiety about what is to come from the divorce settlement.
Unfortunately, family court judges and family attorneys tend to have high caseloads. They may not have time to get to know you and your family. In divorce mediation you are number one, you are not just another “docket number” as in the family law court system. Your mediator will get to know you and your family during your sessions. Unlike the court system, they will know you and your children by name.
FAST: Divorce mediation is a quick and efficient process. The average couple can complete the divorce mediation process in three to four sessions. Sessions are typically one-hour long. After you conclude your sessions, your mediator will compose your marital settlement agreement. The entire divorce process can be completed in a few months. In traditional litigation, it may take as long as a year just to receive a court date. The increase in speed with mediation, results in a decrease in fees.
CONFIDENTIAL: Your marital settlement agreement and everything discussed with your mediator are kept confidential. Unlike the court system, mediation is done in private. You and your spouse will be able to keep your divorce terms outside of the public arena. There will be no public filing notices. There will be no discussions regarding your agreement made in a public forum, such as family court.
LESS ADVERSARIAL: Divorce mediation is a more peaceful and less stressful process than traditional litigation. Both parties enter mediation with a willingness to negotiate and compromise. This involves ongoing discussions and the opportunity for both parties to communicate their wishes effectively. Mediation comes from a win, win approach. There is no sole “winner” and there is no “loser.” Both parties must come to an agreement on all topics, to successfully complete mediation. This gives both parties motivation to compromise.
IMPROVES POST-DIVORCE RELATIONS: How many people do you know that don’t speak to their ex-spouse or hate their ex after a bitter divorce? The traditional litigation process can literally create enemies between previous spouses. When children are involved, this can have devastating consequences for co-parenting relationships. Divorce mediation has been shown to result in better post-divorce relationships. Agreements made in divorce mediation, are your own. They are more likely to be followed than terms created by outside parties. Since they have a higher compliance rate, there are less post-divorce disputes regarding the divorce agreement.
Overall, mediation is a less confrontational approach and less damaging to relationships. Spouses are not on the battlefront during their divorce in mediation. They respectfully engage in a collaborative approach that does not leave them feeling bitter towards one another.
At Central Mediation, LLC we can help you and your spouse have an amicable divorce.