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Why those facing complex divorces may turn to mediation

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Divorce |

Numerous factors can make a divorce more complex than average. Some couples have complex divorces because they remained married for decades. One spouse may be financially dependent on the other, which can make the divorce proceedings more emotional and prone to conflict.

Other times, complexity might come from the extent of the marital estate. The more financial resources people accumulate during a marriage, the more difficult it may be to divide those assets when they divorce.

When divorce promises to be a complicated process, people often worry about how unpredictable property division and other issues can be if handled via litigation. Those on the cusp of a complex divorce may find that mediation might be the best solution available to resolve marital disputes.

Why do those preparing for complex divorces often decide that mediation is the best way to handle the process?

Mediation puts spouses in the driver’s seat

Litigated divorce leaves people feeling disempowered and even passive. After presenting documents to their lawyers and the courts, they may have to wait for weeks for a judge to finally decide on appropriate terms. When people successfully complete divorce mediation, they negotiate an agreement that includes binding terms. They can decide for themselves the most reasonable way to address marital property and debts. Their choices, not the perception of a judge, end up determining the outcome of the process.

Mediation keeps things quiet

Divorce proceedings are relatively common, meaning they don’t necessarily attract public attention the way they might have generations ago. That being said, much of what transpires in family court could still become part of the public record. People ranging from coworkers to extended family members could also attend divorce court hearings and learn many details about family circumstances that people might prefer to keep private.

The mediation process is confidential, meaning that people do not have to disclose anything other than the terms of their agreement to the courts. Particularly when there is a substantial marital estate to divide or the divorce occurs because of some kind of marital misconduct, handling disagreements in a confidential setting can be beneficial.

Mediation fosters improved relations

In a litigated divorce, spouses often see one another as opponents. They fight each other. The choices they make during divorce can damage their relationship for years to come. People who share children, a business or a religion may still need to interact regularly after divorce. Mediation allows them to practice calmer communication and to cooperate instead of fighting. That calmer dynamic can lead to a healthier relationship between the spouses after the divorce.

Preparing for a complex or high-asset divorce does not necessarily mean fighting over every last resource and detail. Divorce mediation is often a means of ending a marriage calmly. Spouses who explore every option can choose the best strategy for navigating the end of a marriage, given their unique circumstances.