Today, Mediate Don’t Litigate offers the second half of our guide, Divorce Mediation vs. Court, Part 2. While I might be a bit enthusiastic about mediation, I do understand that under certain circumstances, you may truly feel that litigation is the route you need to take for your divorce. Here, I present even more facts comparing both options so that you can make the best decision for your situation.
There are 10 key factors to consider. Today, Divorce Mediation vs. Court, Part 2 covers the final five. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you want to go to war with your spouse? Even if things start amicably, a divorce case can quickly devolve into a no holds barred fight to win your case at any cost. It can lead to anger, bitterness and resentment. Ultimately, after a long, drawn out and expensive battle, there are often no real winners. By going a different route, a mediator will act as a neutral third party who simply facilitates positive discussions and mutually beneficial outcomes. Divorce mediation does not pit each side against each other but helps them find balance and neutral ground.
- Do you want other divorce cases to affect your own? Laws and legal precedent (previous divorce outcomes) will play a big role in your divorce. After both sides present their case to the judge, he or she will make decisions based on these existing laws, statutes, and regulations. You may wind up with a “by the book” divorce that doesn’t work for either side. Mediation takes into account what’s important to both you and your spouse, then works toward a settlement that meets everyone’s needs as best as possible. This allows for creative solutions instead of relying on a one-size fits all approach.
- Do you want a judge to decide the outcome? Going to court for your divorce means a complete stranger will divide your assets and debts, determine your future finances, as well as decide how you and your spouse will co-parent. Through divorce mediation, you stay in control of your own future and the future of your children. You will have the opportunity to discuss all matters and negotiate terms that work for both of you. Neither side “wins” while the other side “loses”.
- Do you want to settle private matters in a public setting? Here in Divorce Mediation vs. Court, Part 2, I feel the need to remind you that that courtrooms are public spaces – anyone can attend. Also, thanks to the internet, public court records are easily accessed. While adjustments can be made to protect children or perhaps sensitive business information, court truly leaves you vulnerable. Divorce mediation is private, and a mediator cannot disclose what you discuss and settlement offers cannot be used in litigation. The only exceptions are issues around violence and bodily harm.
- Do you want to be in the dark regarding the outcome? When you go to court for your divorce, you never really know what the judge is thinking until the end – when it’s too late. While your lawyer might assure you that things are going in your favor, there’s always room for doubt. By bringing your dispute to a divorce mediator, you’ll know what’s happening in real time. As you collaborate on and negotiate your settlement, it can be put into writing then and there.
At Mediate Don’t Litigate, I know there’s a lot to think about when deciding divorce mediation vs. court. I hope this guide provides you with the information you need to make the best choice for you. To learn more about mediation, please request a consultation so that we can discuss your needs and situation.