Although divorces can be ugly affairs, they don’t always have to be. Many times spouses find ways to work together during the divorce process in an effort referred to as mediation. This not only offers them the opportunity to settle out of court, but has many other benefits as well.
Some of the best things about mediation include:
- It can be less stressful. The idea behind mediated divorce is for both parties to reach an agreement they can live with. Because of this, the tone is generally more amicable, and some of the less attractive elements of a divorce, like courtroom arguments, are avoided. This is especially important when children are involved.
- It saves you money. Mediation only requires one objective mediator between you and your spouse. This immediately cuts your lawyer fees in half. It also takes far less time than taking a case to court, ultimately resulting in less billable hours and more money remaining in your pocket.
- It’s confidential. While courtroom litigation happens in public, mediation is done in a private setting. This not only keeps everything confidential but it encourages open and honest communication.
- It’s voluntary. Mediation can begin and end at any point, so if it is not working out, you can always revert to a more traditional path towards divorce.
The Success and Failure of Mediation
Since I first talked about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), more and more couples have chosen to resolve their differences and dissolve their marriages through mediation and the collaborative divorce process. Our firm provides mediation services to couples and helps those clients achieve outstanding results. Is ADR the best route to divorce?
The answer is yes and no. The benefits of ADR are clear:
- Savings in time, energy and money
- Ability to craft unique agreements and arrangements to suit you and your family
- Negotiated agreements are more satisfying and more likely to be upheld by both parties
- Successful mediation helps salvage relationships and provides couples a method for conflict resolution in the future
Despite the advantages of ADR, these techniques do not work for all couples. While negotiation between legal counsel can work in simple and high conflict divorce settings, mediation and collaborative divorce may not be possible for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Power sharing: Disparities in income or relative power in the relationship can leave one partner at a disadvantage. Strong legal counsel can assist a marginalized spouse understand his or her rights and opportunities.
- Acrimony: Even if only one spouse is bitter, the acrimony flowing from false accusations and drawn out battles makes mediation and the collaboration divorce process a poor choice.
- Failure: High conflict couples who choose ADR may find they added six or more months and thousands of dollars in legal fees to their overall divorce process. If a couple falls out of the collaborative divorce process, information provided and exchanged cannot usually be used in civil litigation and new legal counsel must be retained. Litigation commenced at this point is often instantly polarizing.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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