In litigation, divorcing parties are often left with agreements that do not serve their needs and seem unfair to one of them, as many decisions are forced upon them by their lawyers. As a result, agreements are often sabotaged and not carried out.
Mediation helps a divorcing couple to resolve issues and find practical, fair solutions that work for both of them. Research shows that such agreements are usually fulfilled and couples in general feel in control of their own lives.
The emotional chaos the couple ends up in after a litigated divorce may take a huge toll on their healing process. Years of therapy will not always resolve all the issues and might not let you “turn this page” to move on with your life. According to statistics, people who went through a bitter divorce are frequently failing their new relationships. Anger and frustration do not let people realize what went wrong in the first place and they are primed to repeat their mistake all over again.
Mediation process teaches divorcing people to be in control and express their feelings openly. It helps separate emotions from real issues, overcome their anger and see beyond it. Thus, everyone benefits and deals with their problems constructively. Mediation helps to put everyone’s lives back on track. Couples, who mediate their divorces, also have a much better chance in succeeding with their new relationships.
Divorce battles affect lives of the children tremendously. Their emotional scars may last a lifetime. Their chances to overcome stress created by a divorce are slim. Parenting schedule and child support are difficult to enforce and are impossible to change without an appeal to a court. As a result, in litigated divorces, child support continues to be a major issue even after a divorce is finalized; the other one is that of child custody, and frequently the visiting parents see their children no more than once a week.Mediation helps to restore equilibrium within the family. Therefore, children are in a much better position to overcome the devastation of divorce and return to their everyday life activities. Parenting schedule and child support can be altered without an involvement of a court. All issues are discussed and may be changed in accordance to the children’s needs. Therefore, agreements are usually honored by the divorced parties.
Adversarial divorce usually takes a year or more to complete, depending on how complicated the issues are. The cost of litigated divorce can be enormously high. It runs from at least $25,000 up to $100,000 or even higher.
Mediation process resolves the outstanding problems within a few months, even though issues are just as complicated and relationships are strained. The amount divorcing couples spend on mediation would vary depending on complexity of each case. However, it rarely exceeds $8,000.
Litigated divorces are not overly concerned with confidentiality. Sensitive issues are not handled delicately either, and whatever personal dignity of each party is left, it is often broken in litigation.
In the beginning of a process, a trained family mediator in good standards shall present a couple with a contract. According to the Divorce Mediator’s Code of Ethics, confidentiality is one of the important issues that is preserved for as long as keeping it is not life threatening to either of the parties and to others.