Is mediation a better way to divorce?

When most people think of the word ‘divorce’ they often think about lengthy litigation and a lot of arguing. And while this might be true in a lot of cases that have been shared on the Internet, some people have found a way to dissolve their marriages without all of the negatives. In these cases, people are actually finding an amicable way to divorce.

As some of our Maricopa County readers may have already realized, we’re talking about divorce mediation. Unlike in a typical divorce, mediation uses a third-party mediator that helps facilitate communication between spouses in order to come to an acceptable agreement. Whether court-referred or agreed to voluntarily, mediation usually does not hold the same blind-sided shock value that a typical divorce may have, meaning less hurt feelings and perhaps less frustration as well.

When most people describe mediation, they say that it is “more respectful” than divorce and provides couples with a way to truly have an amicable split. This is due in part to the mediator who often acts as a referee when communications break down and arguments arise. By promoting understanding and helping the couple to focus on creative problem solving, a mediator ensures that the final divorce agreement is truly the product of the couple’s efforts.

It’s also worth noting that on top of promoting an amicable separation through open communication, this is not the only advantage to mediation. Couples across the nation, including here in Arizona, have found that the process is often less expensive than a typical divorce because it decreases the amount of time spent trying to reach a settlement. For couples who desire privacy, mediation may be a good choice because it also protects confidentiality. And for some, all of the reasons above may be enough to sell them on mediation rather than a typical divorce.

Sources: ITV News, “Mediation made divorce ‘more respectful’,” April 22, 2014

Family.findlaw.com, “Divorce Mediation – Overview,” Accessed April 28, 2014

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