When approaching divorce, you and your spouse may want to explore possible alternatives to the traditional divorce process of litigation, which often causes an increase in conflict and frequently promotes hostility. Divorce mediation is an alternative that encourages collaboration and communication between spouses and helps keep conflict low. Divorce does not have to be a war. Modern couples are frequently interested in an amicable divorce process, such as mediation.
Mediation encourages a healthy divorce and provides families with many benefits: reduced cost, shorter divorce process, better communication, and mutually-beneficial agreements. If you and your spouse are considering alternatives, the reasons listed below may assist you in reaching that decision, and show how mediation may be the right choice for you and your family.
#1 – Time and Cost
In litigation, the divorce process can easily take a year or longer, resulting in immense costs and staggering attorney fees. Attorneys bill each spouse by the hour for any time the attorney spends time on a case. The more spouses argue and the longer a case drags on, the more each attorney charges. The average cost of the divorce process through litigation ranges between $15,000-$30,000. In divorces that proceed to trial, that amount is likely to increase up to $80,000-$100,000.
In mediation, spouses generally complete their divorce process within 2-4 months. In addition, mediation is 80-90% less expensive than litigation. Select mediators, including professional mediators at The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, provide spouses with a 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.
#2 – Confidentiality
Litigation can be a very public process. Once information is disclosed during a litigated divorce it becomes public record. This means anyone can access the documents 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 can become part of the public record.
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 and your spouse with privacy throughout your divorce process and limits information available to the public.
#3 – Strengthens Co-Parenting Relationships
Litigation promotes hostility and causes high levels of conflict. Attorneys tend to cut off communication between 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 your marriage may be coming to an end, your co-parenting relationship will continue to last long after your divorce is finalized. The mediation process acknowledges this and helps co-parents reach the most mutually-beneficial agreements possible and further strengthens their co-parenting relationship into the future.
#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 outcome of your divorce. Spouses have little to no control and have even less flexibility to create their own agreements to best fit their 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 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 not uncommon 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 and can cause them emotional harm.
Mediation prioritizes your children. Through every agreement and discussion, your children are at the heart of your divorce process. Mediation recognizes the individuality of your family and of your divorce. Thus, your children are placed at the forefront of your process. Your professional divorce mediator will help you and your spouse to 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. Our goal is to light a path of peace and hope for families. We recognize that divorce mediation is our opportunity to do just that. Contrary to popular belief, your 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.