Mediation is often used to resolve family law disputes. Sometimes, judges even recommend it for resolving less contentious elements of the divorce, leaving the judge to address the issues where the couple is further apart. It is a broadly used term that can involve various formats and rules. For example, sometimes it uses a neutral third party similar to judge, but they build consensus between the couple. Another couple will opt to each have a lawyer who negotiates directly with the other side. Regardless of the format, it is typically faster, less expensive and less contentious than litigation.
Other key benefits for families
Mediation is beneficial for families for the following reasons:
- Sets a constructive tone: Both parents need to remain active in raising their children, so mediation can help parents collaboratively develop formal guidelines for coparenting or addressing other matters during the divorce and afterward.
- Preserves relationships: Because the format is less combative than court, the couple is less inclined to feel angry about the results.
- Control: Rather than leaving decisions to a judge, the two sides understand the family’s needs and can create an agreement that works for the entire family.
- Privacy: Unless the court’s records are sealed, litigation is a matter of public record. So, it is ideal for families who want to keep the details of their divorce private.
- Higher likelihood of success: Couples who create their family plan or other arrangement have an easier time successfully sticking to them.
Moving forward as a family
While the court is sometimes unavoidable, those interested in mediation should discuss the option with an attorney. They can offer additional insight based on the case details and what format could be most constructive. At the same time, they can protect their client’s interests, ensuring that the final agreement is fair and equitable for all involved.