What Happens During Divorce Mediation
The realization that a marriage relationship which once held the promise of a bright future for two people is coming to an end, is almost always a bitter pill to swallow, however divorce mediation can help guide frustrated couples successfully and safely through the potentially disastrous minefield of divorce.
The trauma of divorce can also be made worse because of the inherent issues that need to be addressed in light of the physical and emotional separation. Such issues which can include decisions on alimony, property ownership/sharing, parental rights and obligations, future taxes, and who gets the dog, have to be made and resolved so that both parties feel there is equity and fairness in the divorce process. In many instances however, couples find difficulty in achieving this goal and need a level of unbiased mediation that will represent the fears, anxieties, hopes, and expectations of both parties in an equitable, non-combative manner. This is where the mediation process for divorcing couples can be helpful.
What is Divorce Mediation and What are its Benefits?
It is a social support facility that allows divorcing couples to work out the terms and conditions of their divorce. The couple enters into this process voluntarily and is facilitated through the process by a trained mediator who is a neutral third party to the discussions, plans, and agreements. Generally, in the mediation process, the couple is provided with the support mechanism to decide on the terms of their divorce during meetings with the mediator which usually occur once per week, once every two weeks, or monthly. If their efforts are not producing the desired results, the mediator steps in and provides guidance that keeps the communication going, helps create an atmosphere of understanding and caring, and assists overall in helping the couple move toward making mutually satisfying decisions in the shortest possible time.
Very importantly, mediation provides the divorcing couple with emotional support which along with quality discussions over time can help them to see each other as partners working together for the best deal for each individual, rather than enemies seeking to destroy each other. This situation is particularly critical when children are involved and the couple will more than likely have to deal with each other in the future.
Another plus for this mediation is that it is a private process among the couple and the mediator, as opposed to the litigation court process where the public is privy to all the couples’ intimate, private affairs that they might want to keep to themselves.
How Long Will The Divorce Mediation Process Last?
The duration of the mediation process varies and is dependent on the nature of the issues and the level of success the couple has with their discussions and decisions. The more willing each party is to communicate and maintain positive results-based behavior, the faster the process will end with the desired results for all involved. Generally though, once there is cooperation from each party, mediation can be achieved in approximately 4 to 10 sessions.
The Cost of Divorce Mediation
The cost of mediation can be significantly lower than that of court litigation — once the couple is dedicated to working their issues out within a reasonable time frame. On average, litigated cases can cost three times as much as mediation cases. For instance, in 2005 litigated court cases cost an average $15,000, while on average, mediation cases cost the couple $3,000. What is more, the litigation cases lasted approximately 18 months while the mediation cases were over in approximately 90 days.
Is Mediation Right For Every Divorce Situation?
Unfortunately no. Some couples, or one party, might not be willing to discuss the terms of their divorce with their soon to be ex-spouse. In that case, the couple will go the route of litigation.
If you or someone you love is struggling with the difficulties of divorce and would like to hear if the divorce mediation process is the right choice for the situation, expert information and help is available from our divorce lawyers. This Toronto law firm is dedicated solely to family law and has vast experience in helping families in distress restore their lives respectably and affordably.