Divorce mediation has gained in popularity over the past few years because it's been shown to be a cost-effective way for couples with complex custody or property division issues to work out their differences.
Studies show that couples who negotiate their own divorce settlement with the help of a mediator are generally more satisfied with the outcome than when a judge makes decisions instead. This is believed to be the case because mediators often take time to get each spouses' perspective and broker an amenable solution that encompasses a combination of both ideas.
Couples often believe that their issues are far too complex to resolve in mediation. That's rarely the case, though. In cases in which there are complexities present, mediators often bring in accountants or appraisers to help couples understand the pros and cons of certain asset division choices. A spouse that believes that the other is far too domineering to negotiate settlement in a case, often finds his or her voice during mediation as well.
While a mediator is generally willing to hear both sides out for as long as is necessary to resolve differences, in the courtroom, a judge may be more restricted on time. Thus, he or she may hastily enter in decisions without being able to fully hear each spouses' perspective.
In the most complex divorce cases, the fact that a judge may not be able to dedicate as much time to resolving disputes can mean that decisions get made that are only ideal for one spouse. The enforcement of support orders may be less likely to be adhered to as a result.
If you decide to try to resolve your differences via mediation, then you'll be happy to know that the agreement you and your ex reach is nonbinding. You can walk away from mediation at any point in the process without penalty. However, once a settlement is signed by both of you and filed with the court, it's fully enforceable.
Couples that come into mediation as bitter foes often walk out of mediation feeling that they were listened to and that their ideas and demands were integrated into a settlement.
If you're considering walking away from your marriage, then a Fort Myers divorce mediation attorney can advise you of the options for resolving differences you and your spouse may have.
Source: FindLaw, "Divorce mediation FAQ," accessed Oct. 13, 2017