Negotiating a divorce agreement is not always easy. Often, spouses may disagree on property division, alimony and even child custody. Many of these problems require a judge’s judication and courtroom litigation. Unfortunately, this method can take months to produce a resolution.
Couples motivated toward a compromise have another option in mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that helps a couple understand each other and draft a satisfactory divorce agreement.
Couples benefit from mediation in several ways
Divorce mediation allows couples a few benefits not available with traditional courtroom litigation. Many of these benefits extend beyond the negotiations, providing the couple with helpful tools and insight for years. Couples who choose divorce mediation will enjoy:
- Confidential negotiations: Court officials do not require a transcript of mediated negotiations. Courtroom discussions become a matter of public record and could return as evidence in future disputes. The final agreement is all that matters with mediation.
- Their choice of mediator: Couples cannot choose their judge, but they can choose any neutral party to serve as mediator. Licensed professionals leverage their training in collaboration and communication to help couples compromise on important issues. Using empathy and listening, mediators help couples draft a resolution that satisfies all parties.
- Significantly lower cost: A traditional divorce can cost upwards of $15,000 per person, considering the cost of lawyers, court fees and even potential damages. Without a courtroom, mediation does not incur court fees, and many attorneys charge their clients a reduced rate for mediation hours. Some courts even offer to cover the cost of the mediator.
- A faster resolution: Mediation can also produce a resolution faster than a courtroom divorce. Mediated sessions occur on a couple’s schedule and at any convenient neutral location. Couples are only constrained by how long it takes to agree.
- A more satisfying outcome: Over 20 years of mediation, couples prefer using divorce mediation and are happier with its produced resolutions. Since mediation focuses on a resolution that satisfies both parties, couples generally get what they want from a mediated negotiation.
Facing a divorce? Ask a lawyer about mediation
Those facing the end of their marriage likely have many questions about the best way to proceed. A local attorney familiar with Arizona’s divorce laws can assess one’s suitability for mediation, recommend professional mediators and draft comprehensive divorce resolutions.