For some couples, divorce is inevitable. The spouses just can’t get along, so there’s no point staying unhappily married.
There’s also no point in fighting and making things worse. To avoid a contentious divorce, many couples opt for mediation. Mediation allows a couple to work on issues in a divorce through communication and negotiation with help from a mediator, who serves as a neutral third party. The mediator does not make decisions. Rather, they help move the process along so the couple can reach their goals.
This means couples can discuss asset division, child custody, alimony and other issues on their own. By discussing these issues and coming to their own agreements, they can avoid having to deal with the consequences of a judge’s decision.
While mediation works well for many couples, it just doesn’t work for some. Are you considering it for your divorce? If so, here are some pros and cons you should know about.
Pros of Divorce Mediation
- It’s cheaper. A mediated divorce averages around $3,000, while one that is contentious and requires litigation can run $15,000 or more. Mediation can run between $100 and $300 per hour. These costs can vary based on location, however.
- It’s less stressful. When a couple can work together to resolve issues and come to fair agreements, it makes divorce easier. They can put any animosity aside and stay out of court, which can take an emotional toll on a person.
- It’s a quicker process. A contentious divorce can last 18 months or longer. A mediated divorce, on the other hand, can last just several months. Once the parties agree on all the issues, which can take several mediation sessions, hey just have to file the appropriate paperwork with the court and the divorce is done.
- It improves communication. This is especially helpful if children are involved, since a divorce will not mean the end of their relationship. They will need to co-parent together, so mediation is a good way to help the spouses communicate amicably.
Cons of Divorce Mediation
- The parties need to be committed. If one person wants mediation but the other doesn’t, then the process isn’t going to work. There needs to be open communication and a willingness to get along.
- There are addiction issues. Addiction can impair one’s judgment. It can be hard to communicate and compromise with a spouse in this situation.
- There is violence involved. Mediation is not a good option when physical or mental abuse is involved. The safety of both spouses should be a priority in a divorce, so a lawyer and a judge should preside in such a case.
Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today
Mediation can be beneficial for some couples. For others, it causes more harm than good, possibly even costing more in the long run.
The Columbia divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help you understand mediation and other divorce options. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.