There are many reasons why couples choose mediation over a traditional courtroom divorce. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that, like collaborative divorce, enables the couple to work together to reach their own divorce settlement instead of having the court decide their issues for them.
In order to determine whether mediation is the right choice for you and your spouse, consider the potential benefits as more specifically listed below. Your experienced divorce lawyer should weigh in on the decision to help you make the right choice. In certain circumstances, you might even be required to attempt mediation before you are permitted to litigate your divorce – courts have the discretion to require this of divorcing couples. Whether mediation was Court Ordered or voluntarily, educate yourself about the process and its benefits before you begin working with a divorce mediator.
It Costs Less than Litigating your Divorce
One of the primary benefits of mediation over divorce litigation is the cost savings. Simply put, getting divorced in court is expensive. In Virginia, it can cost thousands of dollars to litigation a full divorce case. Mediation can be less expensive because it avoids many issues which drive a couple’s divorce bill up, like discovery, depositions, trial preparation, and Court hearings.
You Retain Greater Control of the Divorce Process
Another important benefit of mediation is that it enables you to be in control of your divorce settlement. With mediation, the couple works with a mediator (and in some situations their attorneys), and a neutral third party, to reach agreements for their settlement through a series of guided discussions. The mediator does not make decisions for the couple. Rather, he or she tells them about their rights and their options regarding each component of their divorce settlement and provides guidance when questions arise as they work toward arrangements that suit their needs.
Choosing mediation does not mean you do not have to hire a divorce lawyer. You should still work with an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights and protected throughout the mediation process and afterward as you adjust to life with divorce orders in place. Further, in many mediation settings, your attorney is also encouraged to attend.
You Can Preserve your Relationship with your Partner Better Through Mediation
It is not uncommon for individuals who divorced through mediation to report higher levels of satisfaction in their post-divorce relationships with their former spouses than individuals who divorced through litigation. If maintaining a positive relationship with your former spouse after your divorce is finalized is important to you, which is likely the case if you have children together, mediation may be the right option for your divorce.
Work with an Experienced Virginia Divorce Lawyer
Your divorce lawyer can give you additional advice about the mediation process that’s tailored to your specific case. To get started with one of the divorce lawyers on our team at Roop Xanttopoulos Babounakis, PLLC, contact our office to schedule your initial legal consultation. We are here to answer any questions you have and help you protect your rights and interests through your divorce.