Why Divorce Mediation
Going through a divorce is almost certain to be an emotionally draining process. There is so much to take care from a financial, family, and personal perspective that it can seem overwhelming even to the most stable of relationships. Even if you are fortunate enough to be going through an amicable divorce where your soon to be ex-spouse and you will remain friends, the process is still going to be difficult. There are options when it comes to your divorce, including either mediation or litigation. Depending on the complexity of the divorce proceedings and how much there is to be divided out of the marriage, you might want to consider your alternatives before making a decision.
Many attorneys are both litigators and certified mediators. As such, they are well positioned to help advise you as to which way you should proceed given your unique situation. Generally speaking, most lawyers have found that couples who go through a divorce mediation process end up much happier and more satisfied in the end than those who go through litigation. While there is no scientific evidence of this per say, it is a general feeling that should not be discounted.
Many couple who end up going through mediation actually walk out of the process together and largely unified. In fact, many of the couples will walk out of each mediation session together, indicating that they are truly partners in working on ending this chapter of their lives in an effective and productive manner. One lawyer recounts a particular case that illustrates this point well. The case had been settled and the attorney looked out the window to see the couple hugging in the parking lot before releasing from one another’s grasp and going to their cars.
While couples hugging in the parking lot after a divorce mediation might not be the norm, it is certainly not the rare occurrence that many people would have you believe. Divorce does not have to be ugly. Just because two people fall out of love does not mean that they cannot remain friends, or at least maintain some semblance of an adult relationship built on mutual respect for one another. That is part of what the mediation process is designed to bring out of a couple. Any couple going through a divorce was, at one time, closer to each other than anyone else in their life. They loved the other person with all of their heart. This does not go away easily. Sure, there might be some bad feelings along the way when going through a divorce, but that does not mean both parties cannot be sensible about the division of marital assets. A court of law, or litigation, is not always needed to get through even the most sensitive of matters.
Now, let’s talk about divorce cases that end up in litigation for a moment. It seems that couples who go about the divorce in this manner almost always leave the court room separately. It is not amicable. One lawyer will walk out of the room with his client, while the other walks out through another door with his client. It seems to be a rare occurrence where the couple is actually seen walking out together after the proceeding, in contrast to a mediation. In fact, many lawyers find that couples who do end up walking out of the courtroom after a litigation proceeding only do so because they are coordinating a pick up or drop off with the children.
What about the expense involved in a divorce? As you can imagine, cases that go through mediation are typically must less expensive in the long run than those that go through litigation. There is a great deal of money on the table when the court system gets involved. Remember that a divorce can already be expensive for one party or the other. There are child and spousal support issues to consider, marital assets, business interests, and so much more. The longer that these issues get argued about in a court of law, the more expensive it is going to become for everyone in the end.
On the other hand, mediations often shorten the amount of time required for a divorce to be finalized, In fact, many divorces can be completely finalized with only one mediation session. This is far more advantageous to both parties than going through a lengthy litigation process. During the mediation, each person has the opportunity to express their concerns and to state what they need to get out of the divorce. In many cases, these can be resolved quite easily. With litigation, the process can be dragged out for up to a year in some of the more complex cases. That is no way to productively end a relationship.
A professional lawyer will tell you that they take great pride in seeing a couple work out their issues through mediation. Everyone seems to come out much happier in the end. This is particularly true when there are children involved. When they can be spared the emotional trauma of watching their parents duke it out in court, everyone seems to be a bit more satisfied with the end resolution. It is also healthy to see two adults decide to go their separate ways in life, but to do so with their heads high and with a great deal of respect for one another. That is a major benefit of the mediation process. To be fair, not all divorces can go through mediation. For those cases, litigation is the best option, but that still does not mean that both parties have to leave the process as enemies.
If you are about to go through a divorce, contact Long Island Divorce Lawyers for a consultation. Allow us to go over your options with you so you can decide on the best way to proceed with your separation. We look forward to helping you get on with your life.