3 Reasons Why Mediation May Be The Best Option For Your Divorce
If you’re considering a divorce, or have already started the first steps, it’s important to consider all of your options. Unfortunately, many divorcing couples fail to recognize the benefits of mediation, or talk themselves out of it because they don’t know how mediation works.
Misconceptions surrounding mediation include the idea that it’s not designed for complex divorce cases, that it’s not for high net worth couples, or that it’s only functional for amicable divorces. In fact, none of these things are true. Mediation has a broad range of uses that can be incredibly helpful.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method that involves hiring and meeting with a mediator instead of opening litigation and taking your divorce to trial. The mediator is a neutral third party, as opposed to an individual attorney fighting only on your side, and they act as a pragmatic guide as you discuss agreements and compromises.
Additionally, in the State of Texas, all divorce cases are referred to mediation, as long as both parties are represented by an attorney and there is no allegation of domestic abuse.
Is mediation the right fit for you? Here are some overlooked benefits of mediation over litigation to keep in mind.
1. Mediation Can Save You Money
The most commonly discussed benefit of mediation is that it can save you a significant amount of money. The cost of taking a divorce case to trial increases hours and costs exponentially.
Just how big is this difference? In Texas, for example, a mediated divorce case costs an average of $3,000 – $7,000, while a divorce case that goes to trial (especially in metropolitan areas) could cost north of $50,000.
However, many couples ignore mediation as an option because of unfamiliarity or skepticism. In the long run, the mounting costs of a litigated divorce usually result in more than just a hit to your finances; the stress of losing money while also dissolving a marriage takes an emotional toll. Mediation can mitigate a lot of that suffering.
2. The Expediency of Mediation Minimizes Emotional Impact
One of the most overlooked benefits of mediation (and overlooked aspects of divorce) is protecting your mental health. A prolonged, litigated divorce that results in extensive court battles is not just expensive, but emotionally taxing. The break up of a marriage is usually grief enough, but court battles can keep salt in the wound for months on end.
Heavily contested divorces in court can bring out the worst in couples, even when they were fairly amicable going into the divorce. In some cases, opposing sides will stir up ugly interactions, bad memories, or desperate acts that get progressively worse with each visit to court.
While there’s no emotionally easy way through divorce, mediation can reduce the pain caused by time in court. A mediated case has the potential to end within a short time. Even if the mediated experience is still tense, an experienced mediator will calmly navigate you through it, and the stressful interactions will end much more quickly.
Emotional toll should ALWAYS be part of your considerations when processing divorce.
3. Mediation Can Reduce Negative Impacts on Children
If you’re a parent, the distress or uncertainty of your child throughout the divorce process is a big consideration. Prolonged and contentious divorce cases will have ongoing effects on a child, especially when they’re left with uncertainty and tension as to how their life will be impacted.
Mediation can help families reach conclusions more quickly. Not only do the quicker proceedings help keep your child from being in limbo, but a well-versed mediator can also help you work cooperatively with your spouse for the well-being of your child.
Using mediation doesn’t mean you won’t get what you want, or that your needs won’t be addressed; instead the neutrality of the mediator can foster a rational and collaborative effort to reach a common goal (especially where children are concerned).
Is Mediation a Good Choice for Everyone?
When considering these benefits of mediation over litigation, you may wonder: is mediation my best option? While mediation has many benefits, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your case. Every divorce is slightly different, and may call for different solutions.
The best first step you can take is to reach out to us at Capps Law, PLLC. With decades of experience in divorce law and mediation, Kelly Capps, Esq. will listen carefully to your unique case and identify the best options for you. Schedule a consultation with us today, and let us recommend your best solutions.