Advantages of Mediation to Resolve Divorce Issues
Have you been wondering if Divorce mediation is really worth it? Divorce Mediation in the legal field, is often referred to as “an alternative dispute resolution process”. There are several processes in this category. Other frequently used methods of alternative dispute resolution are arbitration, and collaborative law. Approximately half the states in the United States require participants in a divorce and/or custody action to participate in mediation before they become involved in the Court system.
Pennsylvania is not one of those states; although luckily there are several well-trained and experienced mediators in the Lancaster County area. Divorce Mediation is a process where you resolve your outstanding issues by discussion, analysis, and usually compromise. There are several advantages and benefits to participating in mediation, and here are the top 5.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
There are many benefits to utilizing Divorce Mediation to help resolve issues before or instead of just going to court. Divorce can be not only financially draining, but it is emotionally taxing as well. When you leave your divorce issues completely in the hands of a Judge without Divorce Mediation, you will experience a large amount of unknowns, which can lead to anxiety and confusion. By going through Divorce Mediation you can save time, money, energy and generally get more favorable outcomes. During your Meditation, you will get to ask questions, and have them answered thoroughly. this allows you to weigh the pros and cons of each option without the pressure of a Judge, or courtroom full of people. Here are some of the benefits of Divorce Mediation:
1. Cost Savings
Getting a divorce in Pennsylvania can be an extremely expensive process. Different parts of our courts handle divorce, support, and custody. Litigation can be extremely costly without the use of a mediator. Sadly, some families spend their life savings on matrimonial disputes. Fortunately, many of these issues can be resolved at a fraction of the cost when you go through Divorce Mediation.
The Court has limited time and freedom in order to fashion resolutions and solutions to issues. By contrast, mediation gives parties and their attorneys the opportunity to spend as much time as needed to resolve issues and also to implement some processes which could not be done by the Court system. Examples would be to establish a Trust for a child with Special Needs; provide for weddings, vacations, etc. for the parties’ children; establish college accounts for the parties’ children and provide a method for paying for children’s college education. The Court system would not resolve these issues. In Pennsylvania, as a parent, you are not required to pay for post-secondary education. However, Divorce Mediation allows you to create an agreement, and put it in writing (with guidelines). This can include the cost of college education, which can then be addressed and determined at the time of a divorce.
3. Time Savings and Continuity
When your divorce goes solely through the Court system, you are restrained by the Court’s schedule and decision making process. Oftentimes, your case will not be concluded in one day, and therefore gets continued and or rescheduled. The rescheduling is usually not the next day and will be a day in the future. By contrast, you can schedule mediation on weekends, in the evenings, and on consecutive days. This allows for a quicker and much easier process for the parties involved and the mediators who facilitate the process.
Divorce is an extremely stressful and public event. Personal finances, business information, and living status becomes public record when you go directly through Court for your divorce. However, when you utilize mediation you can make provisions for privacy.
5. Content With Results
In a study conducted by the University of Virginia, results showed that mediating produced far more satisfactory outcomes for parents versus litigation in custody disputes. The twelve-year follow-up data indicated that even in highly contested and conflicted cases, mediation encouraged both parents to remain involved in their children’s lives after a divorce without increasing co-parenting conflict between the parties. Also, the non-custodial parent was three times more likely to see their children weekly and four times more likely to talk with their children weekly than those parents who participated in custody litigation.
Should You Utilize Mediation?
In conclusion, a skilled mediator in a private setting can focus on issues without interruption. Additionally, there is an excellent chance of bringing the parties to a resolution, even in high conflict cases. Typically in a divorce, each party has a story to tell and the mediator will listen and not be judgmental. You can choose a resolution that provides a foundation for future problem-solving, and hope that your relationships can be preserved in a respectful manner (especially when children are involved). Mediation can save you money and time, as well as give you and all parties involved the opportunity to close a difficult chapter in your lives more quickly. Also, mediation can help parents work toward the best potential outcome for the present as well as the future.
Trust Our Experts for Your Divorce Mediation
One of our shareholders, Sandra Edwards Gray, Esquire, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She recently attended a comprehensive course in Mediation given by the AAML and is now a Certified Family Law Mediator. We care about your case, and work towards a smooth resolution, in a timely and affordable manner. Contact us today for more information.