Frequently Asked Questions: Divorce Mediation
What are the advantages of mediation?
The parties get to decide: The responsibility and authority for coming to an agreement remain with the people who have the conflict. The dispute is viewed as a problem to be solved. The mediator doesn’t make the decisions, and the parties don’t need to “take their chances” in the courtroom. Many individuals prefer making their own choices when there are complex tradeoffs, rather than giving that power to a judge. The parties are empowered to make decisions that are in their best interests.
Participants in mediation report higher satisfaction rates than people who go to court. Because of their active involvement, they have a higher commitment to upholding the settlement than people who have a judge decide for them. According to the American Bar Association, mediations end in agreement 70 to 80% of the time and have high rates of compliance.
Mediation can be a less intimidating process than going to court. Since there are no strict rules of procedure, this flexibility allows the people involved to find the best path to agreement. Mediation can deal with multiple parties and a variety of issues at one time. In addition, years may pass before a case comes to trial, while a mediated agreement may be obtained in a couple of hours or in sessions over a few weeks.
Further, the mediator will keep all the information discussed in the family mediation sessions confidential whereas tried cases generally take place in open court.