When is mediation right for my divorce?

Mediation offers a more private and often more efficient method to divorce compared to traditional litigation. Information disclosed during a courtroom battle is often available to the public, while that discussed during mediation can remain confidential. Since the parties are dealing with their own calendars and that of the chosen mediator, they do not need to balance additional legal representation and the court calendar. The court calendar is often flooded with disputes. This can mean those who go the traditional litigation route for divorce will take longer to reach a resolution and will ultimately pay more for their divorce.

Although not the right choice for every divorce, three situations that often benefit most from mediation include:

#1: Those who wish for an amicable split.

Legal scholar Rudolph J. Gerber has pointed out that mediation provides an opportunity to discuss the emotional side of divorce not present in the courtroom. He explains that since those going through divorce can vent their frustrations during mediation these same emotions are less likely to surface after the divorce. This ultimately results in a divorce that is less likely to include additional, post-divorce litigation.

The mediation process also takes away the adversarial win/loose setting present in a courtroom. Since the common goal of mediation is putting together a divorce agreement that works for each party instead of trying to win a case, mediation further encourages a more amicable resolution to the divorce.

#2: A desire to co-parent.

Parents can benefit from mediation because they can deal with the emotional side as noted above and also have more control over putting together custody agreements. In Florida, these can include parenting plans, parental responsibility, and time-sharing agreements. With mediation the parents can take charge of these matters instead of having the courts play a role in their post-divorce parenting.

#3: A wish to remain private.

Privacy is important and, as noted above, couples who choose to divorce through mediation have a higher likelihood of maintaining that privacy compared to those who go through traditional litigation. This can help to better ensure financial information and the reason for the divorce remain private matters.