Divorce is a time of emotional turmoil complicated further by legal snares. Many people hire lawyers to help them negotiate the distribution of property, child custody, child support, retirement, and taxes. But some people use mediators.
The mediator is an impartial third party that helps the couple negotiate by keeping the lines of communication open, brainstorming, encouraging empathy, keeping focus, and promoting civility between the two divorcees.
Mediation is flexible and confidential. It offers a way to settle conflicts as a team. This is especially important if the couple has children and must interact with each other after the divorce.
Mediation brings about communication between the couple. If lack of communication was one of the main reasons for the divorce, the divorcees may have a better relationship after they have finalized their divorce.
A mediator is neutral. He is a source of guidance and objectivity and he or she doesn’t take sides. He is there to help the divorcing couple formulate ideas that lead to enduring agreements.
This open and free exchange of information frees the divorcing couple to negotiate with each other in confidence. Mediation often leads to resolutions faster than standard proceedings.
In 2005, the average mediation cost was $3000 and was settled in 90 days. The average divorce case litigated in courts cost $15000 and was settled in 18 months.
Mediation is voluntary. It continues as long as the divorcing couple and the mediator want it to. Mediations can be conducted however often the couple wants them to be. They can be weekly, every two weeks, and even monthly. This is their mediation and they control the process.
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