When people imagine divorce, many see a heated courtroom argument full of petty arguments that spin out of control. Though these scenes may make dramatic television, very few divorces are like this. Many couples use an alternative dispute resolution process called mediation.
When people imagine divorce, many see a heated courtroom argument full of petty arguments that spin out of control. Though these scenes may make dramatic television, very few divorces are like this. In Florida, couples are required to use mediation before they can go to trial.
Mediation takes the negotiations out of the courtroom and the rulings away from a judge. So how does it work?
Find more benefits with a mediated divorce
Mediation can provide the following benefits:
- Couples and their attorneys choose their mediator: A mediator serves as an intermediary between disputing parties. They guide the conversation toward a mutual understanding, prioritizing listening and empathy to design compromises over property division, child custody and more. Professional mediators have received training in communication and collaboration techniques.
- Couples choose their schedule: In traditional litigation, couples may wait months for their scheduled court date. With mediation, negotiations can take place quickly and at nearly any neutral location.
- Reduced fees: Couples could pay around tens of thousands of dollars for a litigated divorce. Mediation is significantly less.
- Confidential negotiations: Divorce discussions may get heated at times, leading emotional spouses to say things they later regret. In a courtroom, a stenographer records everything into the public record, allowing nearly anyone access to these unfortunate conversations. With mediation, only the written agreement stands as record, leaving hostile comments behind.
- Increased satisfaction: Research shows that divorcing couples feel greater satisfaction with the mediation process than traditional litigation. A spouse may resent a judge’s ruling, especially if found at fault. This resentment rarely happens with mediation.