More and more people are opting for alternative dispute resolution in lieu of a traditional divorce, meaning that if negotiations are successful, they can skip going to court. Mediation is one type of alternative dispute resolution. It is a semi-informal meeting in the presence of a neutral third party who can help you and your spouse agree on the terms of a divorce. Here are a few of the main benefits of opting for this popular choice.
Mediation is infinitely cheaper than litigation. Typically, attorneys will charge either by the hour or by the day. As many divorces by litigation can go on for months, these expenses can add up quickly. The average cost of a divorce in Missouri is $13,500, and it goes up from there if the divorce includes alimony and property division disputes. If people can’t agree, they must go to court, and going to court is expensive. Mediation offsets that cost by using a single attorney to help mediate the conversation between you and your spouse. You and your wife or husband can even share the cost of the lawyer.
While it can also save you money, getting a mediated divorce can save you time also. Instead of taking time off from work to haul yourself to court, you can take a day to hash out the differences in a meeting between you, your spouse, and your mediator. Instead of taking years, it could take months, or even a weekend if you are both amenable to compromise.
Mediation is informal, meaning you are allowed to be more engaged in the process than you would during a typical court case. Typically, in litigation, only your attorneys will be doing the majority of the talking. However, in mediation, you and your spouse get a say. The mediator can also focus on your needs and interests rather than on your stated positions. You are also allowed to change your mind, unlike a formal court hearing where the judge’s word is law.
Unlike court hearings, mediation is private. There are no records or transcripts of what you or your spouse says during the process. Likewise, any evidence introduced mediation can’t be used later or revealed, which is advantageous for some parties.
Because of its informality, the parties are also more in control. Both you and your spouse will have a greater say in the negotiations and more control over the outcome. While the process will require you to make compromises, being able to understand your spouse’s position through the mediator might help resolve some issues faster than you would in court.
People are usually happier with the end results of mediation. Instead of being bullied into position through litigation, when couples participate in negotiation through the divorce, they report a better outcome. Likewise, there is no winner or loser in mediation, unlike a court case. Because the results are also more favorable, and both parties have more say in the process, both sides are also more likely to comply with the dispute resolution. Once you conclude your divorce, you are more likely to feel better about the outcome.
If you’re interested in exploring mediation as a means of resolving your divorce, give us a call. Our skilled St. Charles divorce attorneys can help. We have more than 20 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you in a consultation.
Call us at (636) 400-1177 or fill out our online form to schedule a case review today.