Going to court is not the only way to go through a divorce. For couples that are able to communicate and are willing to negotiate, mediation is a popular way to come to a divorce agreement.
Mediation is beneficial for many divorcing couples, and couples that have a lot of assets to divide also find the process to be less contentious and advantageous.
How mediation works
According to the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. A mediator is a neutral third party who works with both sides to come to an agreement. The mediator guides conversations and allows both sides to present their opinions and wishes. A mediator has conflict resolution skills, so if the couple is having difficulties coming to an agreement, or if they begin arguing about something, the mediator helps them work through it by offering creative solutions.
The mediator may work with the two spouses at the same time, or there may be separate sessions for each party. If there are complex financial challenges or decisions to make, the couple and mediator may choose to use a financial professional to assist with coming to an agreement.
Using mediation is beneficial for many reasons. It is less expensive than court litigation, and it is usually a quicker process. The process also encourages communication between the two parties, and this often results in a better post-marriage relationship. Mediation is often less emotional and stressful than litigation. It is also better if there are children involved, as the process is less contentious, and the parents have the time and space to consider what is best for the child.
According to FindLaw, the final agreement, all documents presented and discussions that occur during the mediation process are confidential. This is beneficial for couples with money and assets, as they may not want the general public to have access to this information.