Divorce is challenging for even the most open and communicative families. Dividing a family’s assets and negotiating child custody can bring buried emotions and resentments to the surface. Spouses may feel unfairly treated or punished by a judge’s ruling, which can lead to arguments and hostility.

Mediation hopes to avoid much of this. More couples have turned toward mediation over the last 20 years because it offers several benefits not found in a courtroom divorce. Mediation can help couples, especially those with children, work through the worst of their disagreements and build a co-parenting relationship that places their family’s well-being at the forefront.

Choose mediation to build a better divorce

When couples choose mediation, they take on the responsibility of designing their divorce resolutions. Couples can use mediation for part, or all, of their divorce. Judges will allow a couple to mediate their divorce often by asking — mediation works best with disputing parties motivated to compromise.

Couples using mediation may enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Choice of preferred mediator: Professional mediators receive training in communication and collaboration techniques. These arbitrators do not deliver rulings or judgments but help disputing parties reach a compromise. Encouraging empathy and listening, mediators can help spouses build a relationship focused on mutual respect and understanding.
  2. Negotiations are confidential: Transcripts of courtroom divorce negotiations are not confidential. Unfortunate emotional outbursts may return in future disputes, sourced from the public record transcripts and presented as evidence. Mediation can avoid these potentially embarrassing situations entirely.
  3. Mediation is cheaper: Courtroom litigation incurs charges for personnel, time, document filing, and more. Mediation avoids most of those fees. Many lawyers charge lower rates when working in mediation, and some state courts will cover a mediator’s cost.
  4. More convenient scheduling: Without the need for a courtroom, mediation can occur almost anywhere and at any time. Couples sometimes wait months for a court date, allow emotions to stew and problems to continue. Mediation helps the healing start immediately.
  5. Draft better resolutions: Couples who use mediation report increased satisfaction with both their results and the process. Without a judge, neither spouse is found at fault or subject to a punitive, legally binding measure.

A lawyer can answer questions about mediation

Couples curious about using mediation can reach out to a local attorney familiar with Indiana family law. A lawyer can field questions, recommend professional mediators and draft collaborative resolutions.