Going through a divorce is not an easy process for most couples. However, it does not have to include a long, drawn-out court battle.
For many couples, mediation is a preferred method of dissolving the marriage. It has numerous benefits, although it is not an appropriate option for all situations.
Basics and benefits of mediation
According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, mediation consists of the two parties and a mediator, who is a neutral third party. The mediator helps the two spouses discuss topics such as asset and debt division, living arrangements, child custody and spousal alimony. When there are disagreements or tension, the mediator helps both parties work through issues and offers alternative solutions.
Couples choose to go through mediation because of its many benefits, such as:
- Less expensive than litigation
- Faster process than litigation
- Better and more communication between spouses
- Less stressful than litigation
Disadvantages of mediation
Although mediation is advantageous for many divorcing couples, FindLaw discusses that there are some circumstances that may warrant going through court litigation. If there is abuse or addiction in the relationship, the courts provide more protection for the victim. Mediation is also not beneficial if one of the spouses is a bully, as the other spouse may not have the nerve to speak up and ask for what he or she really wants.
Going through the court system is also a better choice if one spouse suspects that the other one is hiding assets or income. The legal process can be more advantageous regarding evidence production and honest testifying.