If you are facing divorce, you may be imagining a long and painful courtroom battle. Fortunately, not all divorces will require this and if you and your spouse are willing to work together to come to a fast divorce settlement, mediation may be the right choice for you. During mediation, you and your spouse will meet with a mediator who is a neutral third party. Mediators do not make any final decisions, but they do encourage communication and can help foster compromise between you and your ex. Still, mediation is not a perfect process, and it is not right for all divorce cases. When going through divorce, consider the following pros and cons of mediation to determine if it is right for you.
The Pros of Divorce Mediation
Meditation has benefits for many couples. The pros of mediation include:
- Retain control: During mediation, you and your spouse have complete control over the process. You will work together to reach an agreement that is favorable for both of you, giving each of you control over the process. This is vastly different from litigation, in which a judge has complete control over the process and you will have no say over what happens.
- A cheaper process: Due to the fact that mediation does not require you to schedule court hearings and pay court fees, mediation is much less expensive. Many divorces are settled within just a few mediation sessions, meaning you will reach an agreement in just a couple of weeks instead of months or years.
- Better relationships post-divorce: During mediation, you and your spouse will work together and learn how to communicate better, even if your divorce involves contentious issues. This can lead to a better relationship with your spouse after the divorce is over, which is particularly important if children are involved.
These are just a few of the benefits a mediated divorce can bring, but there are some negative aspects to consider, as well.
The Cons of Divorce Mediation
It is easy to focus on the positive, but truthfully, mediation does have some drawbacks. These include:
- An untruthful spouse: If you feel as though your spouse will hide assets or otherwise act dishonestly during mediation, the process is likely not right for you. During mediation, there is no discovery phase, which is crucial for discovering hidden assets and other important aspects of the divorce. In these cases, it is best to avoid the mediation fees and head straight to litigation, which is likely where you will end up anyway.
- Unfair compromises: When your spouse refuses to agree with you on certain terms, you may feel as though you have to make compromises you are not comfortable with during mediation. The mediation process requires both you and your spouse to compromise and if either of you refuses to do it, mediation is not the best option.
- Your spouse is in a power position: A spouse may be considered to have power over the other when there is a history of domestic violence. Mediation requires that both parties come to the table in an equal position and so, when one has any type of authority over the other, it is best to let a judge make all the decisions.
Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers can Advise if Mediation is Right for You
It can be difficult to determine if mediation is right for your divorce case. At Iafrate & Salassa, our Birmingham MI divorce lawyers can advise on all aspects of your case, including whether or not mediation is right for you. If you are getting a divorce, call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.