Making the decision to get a divorce or legal separation is not easy—in fact, it is often very challenging. Determining how to best complete your divorce, however, doesn’t have to be a difficult decision for you and your spouse to make.
It is important for you to know that getting a divorce or legal separation does not mean you need to fight. Litigation frequently promotes hostility, however, in contrast, mediation supports collaboration and guides communication helping to keep conflict as low as possible. The Aurit Center’s healthy mediation process puts old ways of thinking about divorce to rest.
Mediation has numerous benefits for both spouses; it saves money and time, supports an amicable relationship, and results in a better co-parenting relationship, to name just a few. Our mediators assist both spouses with reaching mutually-beneficial agreements by providing a positive environment for discussion.
Understanding the advantages of mediation over litigation can help you determine the best divorce process for your circumstances. We have highlighted some of the differences below.
#1 – Time and Cost
In litigation, divorce can easily take a year or longer, resulting in immense costs with staggering attorney fees. Most law firms bill each spouse by the minute for any time they spend on their case. The more conflictual and the longer the case, the more money the attorney makes. The average litigated divorce costs between $15,000-$30,000. In divorces that proceed to trial, that amount is likely to increase to $80,000-$100,000+.
In mediation, cases can be completed within 2-4 months and are 80-90% less expensive than litigation. Select mediators, including professional mediators at The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, provide an all-inclusive flat fee for their entire divorce process. This allows spouses to be aware of the cost of their divorce from the moment their process begins. The Aurit Center also offers a 12-Month, 0% interest payment plan option.
#2 – Confidentiality
Litigation can be a very public process. Once information is disclosed during a litigated divorce it becomes a public record. This means anyone can access documents that have been filed with the court. Additionally, anything communicated or said by either spouse during the litigated divorce may be used against them at a later time. Anything said or done in court is recorded. Copies of those recordings are available upon request.
On the other hand, mediation is a very private process that protects your confidentiality. Anything you say or do during your mediation process is 100% confidential under Arizona law and cannot be used against you at any point in time or in any legal proceeding. Mediation provides you with privacy throughout your divorce process and limits information available to the public.
#3 – Strengthens Co-Parenting Relationships
Litigation promotes hostility and can cause high levels of stress and conflict. Attorneys often instruct their clients to reduce communication with their spouses or discourage it entirely. This often results in misunderstanding and confusion, and co-parents are consequently forced to fight against each other in an all-out divorce battle.
In mediation, spousal collaboration and communication are encouraged throughout the process. Although the marriage is ending, your co-parenting relationship will continue long after the divorce is finalized. The mediation process acknowledges this and helps co-parents reach the most mutually-beneficial agreements possible and further strengthens the future of their co-parenting relationship.
#4 – You Have Complete Control
In litigation, a judge, who likely does not know the details of your family or co-parenting relationship, will determine the terms of your divorce. In short, the judge is in control. With little to no control of the terms, neither of you will likely be pleased with the terms. Courts are backed-up and judges have a very limited amount of time to understand your family’s unique needs.
In mediation, spouses have complete control over their divorce process. They work together, under the guidance of a neutral third-party mediator, to create mutually-beneficial agreements for themselves and their family. The mediator does not make any decisions for the spouses but rather assists them with creating agreements to fit their family’s unique needs. This way, spouses are not relinquishing any control over their divorce but rather are being supported as they create personalized agreements.
#5 – Mediation Puts Children First
With the high levels of stress and conflict present in litigation, it is common for children’s needs to be lost in the mayhem. Conflict and concern about child support, spousal maintenance, and property division can distract from your children’s needs. Research shows that ongoing conflict can cause emotional, psychological, and developmental harm to children.
Mediation prioritizes the needs of each child involved in the process. Through every agreement and discussion, your children are at the heart of your divorce process. Mediation recognizes the individuality of your family and helps you have a personalized experience. Thus, your children are placed at the forefront of your process. Your professional mediator will help you and your spouse create one-of-a-kind agreements that are in the best interest of your children.
The Aurit Center For Divorce Mediation supports families through every step of the divorce process. We recognize that divorce is not easy. We are dedicated to and believe in lighting a path of peace and hope for families. Contrary to popular belief, divorce does not have to be a battle. Please consider completing your divorce process through mediation. We are here to help you each step of the way. Our mediation coordinators are available to answer your questions and can help you schedule an online complimentary consultation.