Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation

Young couple having a divorce mediation session - divorce mediation concept
If you’re considering divorce, mediation can make the legal process much more efficient and cost-effective. But while this form of alternative dispute resolution works in most cases, it may not be a viable option for certain situations — such as those involving domestic violence or hidden assets. It’s essential to carefully consider the pros and cons of divorce mediation to determine whether it is right for your case.

What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation that can allow you and your spouse to part ways amicably and respectfully. In contrast with litigation, which takes place in a public courtroom, mediation allows you to resolve your disputes in an informal, private, non-adversarial environment with the help of a neutral third-party called a mediator. The mediator does not take sides or give legal advice. Rather, they will assist spouses with communicating their objectives in a healthy and effective manner. Mediation can allow spouses to determine all the issues that must be decided before a judge will issue a divorce decree — without ever stepping foot inside the courtroom. For instance, mediation can help resolve disputes in connection with the following: With the divorce mediation process, spouses are in control of their case and are often more satisfied with the outcome than they would be if a court decided the issues. Importantly, since mediation encourages collaboration, it offers the opportunity to find creative solutions that might not otherwise be reached in litigation.

What are the Pros of Divorce Mediation?

There are many advantages when it comes to using divorce mediation — rather than going through the traditional litigation process. One of the biggest benefits is that it eliminates the “win-at-all-costs” mentality that often accompanies litigation. It also improves each spouse’s understanding of the other’s concerns and emphasizes amicability, which can be critical if children are involved. Specifically, divorce mediation offers the following pros for couples who are parting ways:
  • Confidential and private — In contrast with the public litigation process, mediation takes place in a private setting. Anything that is discussed during the sessions remains confidential. When a case is litigated, it becomes part of the public record.
  • Cost-effective and efficient — Mediation is typically less expensive and faster than litigation. There is no formal and time-consuming discovery process and spouses can create their own timeline.
  • Less stress — Since divorce mediation is less contentious and provides spouses with more control over the outcome of their case, the process is less stressful and emotionally draining than litigation.
  • Flexible — Divorce mediation can be tailored to your needs and allow you to create your own plan for custody matters and the other crucial issues that must be decided.
  • Better for your children — Children pick up on their parents’ emotions. Since divorce mediation is less time-consuming, less contentious, and more cost-effective, it’s also better for your children’s emotional health. Not only will you have more time to spend with your children by using mediation instead of litigation, but the process also allows you to prioritize their wellbeing.
Depending upon how many issues spouses agree on, only a few mediation sessions may be required to reach a settlement agreement. Mediation sessions can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties, unlike the litigation process which can go on for months — or sometimes years — depending upon the complexity of your case and the court’s calendar.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation can lead to a positive resolution in most cases. But the process can come with certain disadvantages, depending on the situation. For example, while mediation can be used in a high-conflict divorce, it’s vital to be aware that compromise and collaboration are required. Another con to the mediation process is that any issues that are not settled during the sessions would have to be litigated. However, even using mediation to settle just a few of the issues that must be determined in divorce can save parties a significant amount of time and expense that would otherwise be spent in the courtroom. In addition, divorce mediation might not be appropriate in cases where there is a significant power disparity. For example, if domestic violence or abuse was an issue in your marriage, mediation may not be the best option — it typically works best when spouses can freely voice their goals and concerns. Similarly, mediation might not result in the best outcome if you suspect your spouse is concealing assets. The litigation process has a number of discovery tools that can be used to uncover hidden assets to help ensure a fair property division in divorce.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Divorce Attorney

Litigation isn’t the only way to legally end a marriage. If you’re facing divorce, a compassionate and experienced divorce attorney can advise you regarding your rights and discuss whether the mediation process is right for your case. Based in Salem, Litowich Law provides skillful counsel and reliable representation for a wide variety of matrimonial family law matters throughout Oregon. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation.
Categories: Divorce, Mediation