A few decades ago, you never heard of a mediated divorce. Couples who were splitting up pretty much agreed to all the terms, or they fought it out in court through litigation.
Today, divorce mediation is becoming increasingly common -- and there are a lot of good reasons for that shift. For example:
- It's cheaper. A lot of times, the biggest sticking points in a divorce for couples with children center around custody and support issues. If a couple doesn't have minor children, the biggest sticking points tend to center on property division, including pensions and real estate. Particularly in the second case, litigation can be expensive and end up devaluing what you're fighting over.
- It's faster. If you've already decided to end your marriage, how much longer do you want to stay tied to that person through a court battle? You certainly aren't going to grow closer during the situation and any hope you have of salvaging a friendship with your ex-spouse will probably be doomed.
- It's private. The last thing a lot of couples want -- especially if they're socially prominent or professionals with a career to protect -- is to have the messy details of their marital relationship open for public display. Mediation lets you keep a lot of your private details to yourself.
- It's controllable. When you go through mediation, you and your spouse retain a great deal of control over the outcome of your negotiations. Ultimately, you can decide what works for your unique situation. If you take the issue to court, a judge is likely going to impose a formulaic solution to your dispute that may not make anybody happy.
Divorce doesn't have to be a scary process -- especially if you're open to mediation. Consider discussing the options you have before you make any hard-and-fast decisions about how to proceed with your case.