As a rule the public generally thinks of the divorce process as a litigated divorce—two parties going to court until the matter is concluded either by the decision of a judge or by the parties settling things somewhere down the line. Unfortunately this process takes a long time, costs a lot of money and most often creates a more antagonistic relationship than when the parties originally decided to get divorced. I have seen horror stories and I have heard more horror stories about the litigation process dragging on for years. This is regardless of whether the parties have significant assets. It is human nature that when one party brings the other to court, the other party is hurt and angry and understandably strikes back. This snowballs down a path of destruction until one day you look up and realize that you are arguing over nothing and your relationship has deteriorated significantly since the time you made the decision to get divorced.
One reason that divorce mediation with an attorney mediator is a much better choice is because the parties will be working with an attorney mediator who should be experienced in family law and will educate them on the issues relevant to their individual circumstances. The mediator is impartial/neutral and will facilitate the parties’ resolution of their issues and will help them make their own decisions. The Settlement Agreement that is drafted is the parties’ plan of action, their guide. It sets out clearly and in writing each party’s rights and responsibilities going forward as individuals. The more details that are spelled out in writing, the more peaceful the future can be because everyone knows what is expected of them.
Another significant benefit of the mediation process is that when the parties to an agreement make their own decisions, they are much more likely to comply with the terms of the agreement in the future. The parties are therefore much less likely to ever need to go to court for post judgment enforcement.