Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution under which divorcing spouses mutually agree to negotiate toward a settlement. This is done with the help of a neutral third-party divorce mediator. The mediator does not issue binding decisions like a court. Instead a mediator helps resolve the issues and bring the parties together to reach a final agreement. Divorce mediation is generally preferable over litigation for several reasons. There are, however, a few drawbacks to mediation. We discuss the pros and cons of divorce mediation in Las Vegas in this article.
The Benefits of Divorce Mediation
Two of the biggest advantages of divorce mediation over litigation are time and costs. Lengthy court battles, especially if they go all the way to trial, are expensive. Your divorce attorney must invest the time to gather evidence, draft, file, and argue motions, take depositions, and possibly hire expert witnesses. All this attorney time adds up. Moreover, the process can take as much as several years if the divorcing spouses never come to a settlement agreement.
Divorce mediation, on the other hand, promises to be quicker, easier, and less expensive. Mediation can resolve divorce disputes in a matter of weeks or months, in one or a handful of sessions. This process, if successful, is certainly less than a protracted court battle. It is also likely to resolve much faster and often with less ill-will. But that’s provided that the parties can eventually agree on all issues, with help from the divorce mediator and their respective divorce lawyers.
Divorce mediation is also less formal and less contentious than litigation. Mediation is meant to be guided by the mediator and can incorporate as many or as few formal rules as the divorcing spouses are willing to agree to. Divorce mediators facilitate discussion to find reasonable solutions to disputed issues, while still incorporating an objective view of the facts and the law. Divorce mediation can be much less heated because the objective is to seek mutually agreeable solutions to disputed issues. The parties can work at their own pace and deal with formalities where necessary.
The Drawbacks of Mediation
Mediation is not perfect. First of all, it requires mutual agreement. One spouse cannot mediate alone or force the other party’s consent to mediate. One party can, in fact, blow up the whole process at any time before the final agreement is signed and executed. Therefore, both spouses should reasonably believe that the other spouse is participating in good faith.
There have been instances where one spouse feigns agreement to divorce mediation for subversive purposes. This is usually done to draw the process out longer and wear down their opposing party. Mediation is simply unlikely to work when at least one party is toxic, overly heated, or otherwise refuses to cooperate.
It is important to keep in mind that divorce mediators do not provide legal advice. But you do not have to attend divorce mediation sessions alone. Divorce attorneys can represent each spouse during all phases of the mediation process. Mediators are meant to be neutral third parties. If you go to mediation sessions without a divorce lawyer on your side, you will be without legal counsel, and you will make decisions without the legal and practical knowledge which comes from decades of experience.
Divorce mediation can be halted at any time. At that point, the matter is taken to court following the usual contested divorce process. Because mediation is meant to be private, agreements made during mediation should not carry over to the litigation. A seasoned divorce attorney knows how to make sure that all mediation discussions and agreements are confidential.
When an Agreement is Reached
If the spouses come to an agreement on all divorce-related matters, then one of their divorce attorneys will draft a decree of divorce. The other spouse’s divorce attorney then reviews the draft decree and may have comments or edits. A decree incorporates language which is legally required to dissolve the marriage with the agreed upon issues from the divorce mediation sessions.
Las Vegas Divorce Mediation Lawyers
Las Vegas divorce lawyers Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo are Board Certified by the State Bar of Nevada as divorce law experts, including divorce mediation. They are ready to lead you through all aspects of your divorce case, including the division of complex assets, alimony, child custody disputes, and all other related issues. Our divorce lawyers offer courtesy phone consultations at no charge. Call 702-222-4021 to get the answers to your important divorce matter concerns.
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