Seven great reasons to choose mediation over litigation for your divorce.
- Faster Path to Closure: You may feel wronged, but getting mired in conflict. But seeking revenge, will only keep you thinking about and tallying up the wrongs that were done to you. The goal of mediation is to get this part of your life wrapped up, resolved, and settled. So that you can move forward to your new and (hopefully) happy future life, without the conflicts of the past. Let them go!
- Neutral: The mediator is neutral. He or she won't take sides with you against your spouse, nor with your spouse against you. Instead, the mediator will work with you to increase your understanding of each other and of your conflict, to help you to find paths across the table, to find ways that the future structure can work for both of you.
- Control: Mediation allows you to have control over the process: because you won’t agree until you are ready to – and the agreement meets your needs, because you schedule appointments on your time-frame, and can take the time you need, between meetings to gather information, consider proposals, run it by your sister/mother/cousin/friend.
- Private: Mediation is private and confidential, so that cash, income, addiction, infidelity, and other sensitive issues can be discussed frankly.
- Quicker End to Conflict: Conflict is painful. Most people have a drive to resolve it. When people understand the sources of conflict, there is a huge release of creative energy which leads to terrific brainstorming sessions about how to solve the problem and end the conflict.
- Shared History: You will always have shared years together. Even though you are splitting up, you can’t change the past. Do you want to ‘wish each other well,’ and move forward into this next phase? Or do you want to destroy the other? Your children will not thank you for destroying their other parent.
- Better Relationship In The Future: You may want to attend birthdays, graduations, weddings, or be at the hospital for the birth of your grandchild. If you have children, you will always be connected to your ex. Mediation will allow you to keep the lines of communication open, come to a deeper understanding of why things may not have worked in your marriage, and be able to tolerate seeing your ex in the future. Litigation is ritual war, and it's hard to be civil with someone who tried to annihilate you during your divorce. Avoid doing that! Many kids whose parents are divorced have expressed to me that the biggest gift their parents can give is the ability to be in a room together, and be civil to each other.
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. has been a divorce mediator since 1995. She runs ReSolutions – Mediation/Legal Services (www.mediate2resolution.com) in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Rachel has helped divorcing couples resolve conflicts concerning all aspects of divorce, including division of homes, time with the children, dividing small businesses, fair distribution of pension assets, child support, division of health and child care expenses for children, tax aspects of divorce, how to bring new girlfriends/boyfriends into children's lives. She can be reached at Rachel at mediate2resolution dot com.
More divorce advice from Yourtango:
- How To Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
- Dating After Divorce: What You Need To Know
- How To Move On From A Painful Breakup