The decision to end a marriage almost always comes after a stressful period of soul-searching, and the thought of going through a difficult and lengthy divorce process may seem overwhelming.
Mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce that has gained popularity. It has its advantages, but how do you know it is the right solution for you?
About the process
Mediation is basically assisted negotiation. People who wish to settle a dispute, be it in business or in a personal conflict such as divorce, rely on the help of a mediator who is a neutral third party. The mediator has training in problem-solving and communication and helps the parties come to the best decisions possible in resolving their differences.
In the introductory stage, the mediator creates a relaxed environment in which the parties feel they can discuss issues. The mediator explains the process and establishes an approximate timetable, and the participants can pose any questions they may have. The next stage focuses on problem-solving. The parties bring out their issues and disagreements and talk about what they hope to achieve out of the mediation process. The final stage is closure, during which the parties resolve their differences and set out their terms of agreement.
What to consider
You and your spouse may be good candidates for mediation if the lines of communication have broken down but you believe you could work together on ending your marriage in a civilized manner if you had sufficient guidance. Time may be a consideration, and that is a point in favor of mediation; this process takes far less time than a traditional divorce in court. You may also want to maintain confidentiality, another point for mediation. In addition, it is much less expensive than traditional divorce.
The point of mediation is to help you reach the goals you have, which may include ending your marriage in a way that is not contentious and that leaves open the possibility that you and your soon-to-be ex can even have an amicable relationship going forward. Mediation has a very good success rate. It is a fast and economical approach to divorce, and perhaps it is the right approach for you to take.