Should You Use a Mediator for Your Divorce?

If you and your spouse are splitting up, you are probably dreading the divorce process. Deciding on how to divide assets, who has primary custody of the children and what type of spousal support may be appropriate are just some of the aspects of divorce. Couples in New York have a number of options when making these crucial agreements. Working with lawyers and/or going to trial are two common methods, but they are not the only ones. For some, mediation is a better process and usually has beneficial outcomes. 

According to NY Connects, mediation consists of the two spouses working with a neutral mediator to come up with a mutual agreement about finances and family arrangements. Benefits include:

  • Cost-effective
  • More control over decisions
  • Less time-consuming than trial
  • Emotionally protects the children
  • More cooperative process
  • Better communication between both parties

The American Bar Association discusses the role of the mediator. Unlike the judge of a trial, a mediator does not make any decision for the couple. Instead, he or she asks unique questions, meets with each party individually to find out their wants and works with both to come up with an agreement that fits both sides' desires and situations.  

While mediation can be very beneficial for many couples, it is important to understand it is not for everyone. It may not be suitable for spouses who do not communicate well together, if one party does not feel comfortable expressing needs and wants or for couples whose financial situation is overly complicated. It is also not recommended in cases of domestic violence.