The Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation
One of the most important things to do when you decide to end your marriage is to choose which divorce process to use. A divorce doesn’t always have to be difficult, even if the spouses are at odds. In Salt Lake City, you have the option to hire lawyers and fight it out in court or you can try mediation.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process where parties meet with a neutral mediator trained to help resolve their divorce issues. With COVID-19 and the world becoming more digitized, you might be able to do your divorce mediation in Salt Lake City online.
A mediator can help you come to an agreement about the issues you and your spouse must resolve to end your divorce. This includes child custody and child support. Mediators are facilitators who help spouses decide what is best for them.
Most mediators will draft and file a divorce settlement agreement when spouses reach an agreement through mediation.
What Are The Pros of Mediation?
- Less Stressful
Divorce mediation is much more informal than going to court in Salt Lake City. The mediator is there for you to find common ground, not to make your decisions. As a result, many parties find that mediation allows them to have a more casual approach to divorce and the ability to negotiate in good faith rather than from adversarial positions.
Furthermore, these mediations can help Salt Lake City couples feel more in control and allow them to negotiate their best interests. Many parties are surprised that mediation creates a more relaxed atmosphere where they can reach a fair agreement.
- Decisions are Only Binding if Both Parties Agree to the Terms
The mediation process allows you to control your future instead of allowing a judge to make decisions about your assets, children, and yourself. Every family situation in Salt Lake City is unique, and only you know what would be best for your life. Mediation lets you decide the outcome of your marital separation on your terms.
Judges often face large caseloads and have limited time to address each situation. Mediation allows you to dig into the issues and develop creative solutions.
- Less Expensive
Divorce mediation costs can be significantly cheaper than going to court. Also, you will need to do much less preparation work, which means that there are fewer hours of billing and a shorter time between start and finish.
- More Control & Less Time Consuming
Even though the court route is the traditional way in Salt Lake City, it may not always be the best option for you. The court will dictate when you should appear and what your schedule looks like. It’s not uncommon to wait hours for a judge to be available when you go to court to hear your case.
In contrast, the mediation process allows you and your spouse to set the times and dates for meetings with the mediator. For example, evening sessions are available by some mediators, which is a great benefit for spouses who work day jobs.
- Be on Better Terms with Ex-Spouse
The reality is divorce—even the ones both parties agree upon—can foster much resentment and hostility. Often, this can linger and affect post-divorce relationships, not just with the divorcing parties but with their own children as well.
Mediation can be mutually beneficial and facilitate smoother co-parenting. However, healthy boundaries and good understanding are the most important things in the long run.
What Are The Cons of Mediation?
- No One Is Negotiating for You
Mediation is an excellent option for people who feel comfortable talking about and negotiating legal issues without consulting an attorney. Qualified mediators can help you draft a settlement that you and your spouse have agreed to; however, they aren’t qualified to give legal advice because many of them aren’t lawyers.
Some mediators allow lawyers to attend mediation sessions. However, most Salt Lake City mediators discourage it, especially if only one person is represented. This is because they fear that the presence of a legal representative will cause an imbalance in negotiations.
- Not For Everyone
While divorce mediation is a great option for many, it’s also not for every situation. Here are a few cases where mediation is not recommended:
- Spouse With a History of Being Untrustworthy
Mediation is not the best option if you believe your spouse is lying about something, especially assets. Dishonesty will make negotiations difficult.
- Domestic Violence
Divorce mediation isn’t recommended for those who are experiencing—or have recently experienced—domestic abuse, as well as threats. In these cases, you should consult a lawyer or another qualified source instead. You should carefully weigh the pros and disadvantages of mediation if there has been abuse in the relationship. Some victims of abuse might find mediation helpful, depending on their circumstances. Most mediators will also take safety precautions, such as meeting separately with spouses.
However, others who have suffered abuse might find it traumatizing to have to mediate—or feel that the power and intimidation dynamics are too overwhelming. They might opt to have a lawyer handle their negotiations. Furthermore, some mediators may not accept domestic violence cases as well.
- Delayed Proceedings
The mediator cannot order you to do anything. Someone who wishes to delay proceedings or avoid paying support may abuse the process by agreeing for mediation and then stalling it.
After weighing all the pros and cons of divorce mediation, you can suggest it to your spouse. Both parties will need to agree to mediation and find a mediator to assist your meetings.
If you are still unsure, it may be worth spending the time to speak with a family lawyer in Salt Lake City to determine if mediation is right for you.