Divorce mediation has become a popular alternative to litigation over the past few decades. As more and more divorcing couples are recognizing the attractive benefits that mediation provides, some couples are asking, “how do we know if this is the right process for us?” Here are three questions to consider in determining whether mediation is right for you:
1). Are you both willing to negotiate? In order for mediation to work, both sides need to agree to put forth a good faith effort to compromise and negotiate in order to reach an agreement. Remember, unlike litigation, the goal of mediation is not to create a “win-lose” situation, but rather, the goal is to achieve a “win-win” situation where you both leave the negotiation table confident that the agreement you reached meets your needs.
2). Do you trust your spouse? While some couples mutually agree that divorce is the right option for them, for many others, one spouse may experience feeling hurt or betrayed by the other spouse’s decision to end the marriage. While these feelings are normal, you both need to be able to trust that your spouse will participate openly and honestly in divorce mediation. There must be a mutual level of trust between you in order to reach a fair agreement. If you can’t rely on your spouse to be honest and forthcoming in providing his or her financial information, then collaborative divorce would likely be a better route for you.
3). Do you both want to move forward? If either you or your spouse is seeking retribution or aims to delay the divorce process, mediation is not the appropriate avenue to punish your spouse by dragging things out. Mediation is a future-focused process. Your divorce mediator is there to help you and your divorcing spouse reach an agreement on a variety of issues like spousal support, property and asset division, and parenting plans in order to help you both move forward. The mediation process moves more quickly than litigation, but only if you are both interested in moving forward.
If you and your divorcing spouse are contemplating whether mediation is right for you, contact us for a complimentary initial consultation and speak with a divorce mediator to learn more about the process.