The truth of the matter is that divorce is so prevalent in our society today that very few people do not have a story about friends who have gotten divorced and have each paid their respective attorneys upwards of $10,000 or $15,000 or more to do so. With the average cost of a mediated divorce being just a fraction of that, it is easy to see why that factor tends to catch people’s attention. But, in the realm of family law, especially divorce, there are many other “costs” of litigating rather than mediating, which are overlooked.
Divorce is both a legal process and a family process. It has been stated often that the emotional forces that are bound to the dissolution of a marriage and a family argue for more-delicate measures than the traditional court proceeding. Mediation can be used to educate both parties about their needs now and into the future. Mediation can often help parties see payments for child support or alimony as less of an obligation and more of a family need.
Mediation further facilitates the understanding that, as long as the two people are parents to their children, they will need to cooperate to help see that their children remain emotionally healthy rather than traumatized during the divorce and after.
Unlike the process of adjudication which takes place at the courthouse, the emphasis is not on which party is right or wrong or who wins or loses. The emphasis in mediation is on establishing a workable solution that will best meet the needs of the family as a whole.
The court system is ill equipped to deal with the enforcement of the often- fragile interpersonal relationships between family members that will continue long after the divorce is final. Once the court becomes involved in these issues, it often will be needed again and again to provide added support or enforcement, rather than allowing the families to enforce themselves and their agreements.
Divorce is always one of life’s greatest challenges even for those who are wise enough to pursue mediation. However, there is no doubt that mediation will significantly reduce the financial and emotional impact of divorce.© Alpha Resource Center, LLC http://www.alpha-divorce.com 1-800-310-9085