Mediation can be an affordable alternative to traditional divorce. The main difference between mediated and traditional divorce lies in the fact that, in mediation, one neutral mediator negotiates an agreement between the spouses. In traditional divorce, each spouse hires an attorney. The attorneys represent the interests of their own clients, often taking an adversarial approach to the division of marital resources. Both paths to divorce result in a legally enforceable agreement. Spouses must determine for themselves which approach is more appropriate for them, based on their relationship and circumstances.
If a separation is contentious, and the spouses have genuine disputes about the division of assets, the adversarial approach may be the only way finalize the divorce. But not all divorces need to be contentious. If spouses can remain civil with one another, mediation can provide a quicker, cheaper alternative to the traditional two-attorney adversarial process.
First, since in mediation the spouses split the cost of one professional, rather than each hiring their own, the cost of the divorce can be dramatically reduced. Legal fees can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars in a traditional divorce, and can increase if the divorce drags on over time. Mediators can typically offer a flat rate, comparable to what one attorney would charge for an average divorce.
Second, mediation can be much quicker than a traditional divorce. As soon as the mediator memorializes the parties’ agreement and files the necessary court papers, the divorce is essentially complete. The process, then, only needs to last as long as it takes the parties to come to an agreement. In traditional divorce, the process depends upon court appearances, adjournments, and other administrative delays. For couples that want finality quickly, mediation might be the way to go.
In addition to these advantages, mediated divorce can be much less stressful than a drawn out battle. This can be especially advantageous for families. Understandably, many couples are as concerned with the effect their divorce will have on their children as they are with the effect it will on themselves. For spouses that can work with each other, mediated divorce can avoid adding unnecessary stress to an already difficult time in a child’s life.
Mediation is not for everyone. Where real differences exists, mediation will not likely work. But where couples can put their differences aside for the sake of a speedy and peaceful resolution, mediation might be the best way to separate.
If you would like to explore the option of mediated divorce, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 today. We have experience in divorce and family law, and offer free consultations. We are located in the heart of Nassau County at 393 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 208, Mineola, NY 11501.