Divorce can be a challenge for families. Many couples who would rather get a divorce stay married for the benefit of their children. This tense situation may help temporarily but eventually takes its toll on the family’s emotional health. Thankfully, families have other options.
Many couples negotiate their divorce using mediation. Courts offer mediation in civil cases where the disputing parties wish to preserve a working relationship.
The benefits of using mediation for divorce
Mediation offers families several benefits during negotiations and beyond. Parents can learn skills and communication techniques that help them resolve future disagreements civilly. Mediation can help co-parents keep their focus firmly on the wellbeing of their children.
Families can benefit from mediation in the following ways:
- Choice of mediator: When a judge rules for mediation, the disputing parties choose their mediator. Unlike a judge, mediators do not assign fault or issue rulings. A professional mediator uses communication and collaboration skills to steer the discussion toward a mutually beneficial compromise. Mediators help disputing parties draft their own resolution with their own terms, teaching skills that parents can use to resolve future disputes without disruptive conflict.
- Confidential negotiations: Civil courtrooms employ court stenographers to record all public cases, including divorce. In future disputes, lawyers may use these transcripts to prove new points or present as evidence. Mediation ensures confidential negotiations that protect a family from reliving these often-painful moments.
- Convenient scheduling: Mediated negotiations do not require a courtroom, so they do not have to fit into a tightly packed courtroom schedule. Instead of waiting months to begin, a couple can schedule their mediation whenever and wherever it is convenient and safe.
- Fewer expenses: Standard courtroom divorce can cost up to $15,000 for each person — a steep price for a family with children. With mediation, total costs can be as low as $2,000 as parents do not have to pay court fees, lawyers often charge reduced rates and some courts cover the cost of a mediator.
- Better resolutions: Mediation produces a divorce resolution designed by the spouses together. The mediator will help them draft items concerning child custody, visitation, and even property division with empathy and respect. This process produces divorce agreements that parents can enthusiastically uphold.
Bring questions to a lawyer
Those considering divorce can find answers with a local attorney familiar with Arizona divorce law. A lawyer can recommend professional mediators, draft legal documents and work with the courts.