The first benefit of divorce mediation over a litigated divorce is, of course, your bottom line–mediation is cheaper. The reduced cost alone should be reason enough to consider mediation if possible. Like we do here at Irwin & Irwin, attorneys and mediation services often offer flat-fee mediation services. In the alternative, hiring an attorney to litigate your divorce requires that you pay for his or her work on an hourly basis, generally with no limit as to how much you might spend. There is also no certainty as to how much time or work will be needed to complete your case. Translation: there is no real certainty as to how much you might spend when litigating a divorce. Frankly, when two parties are “duking it out” in a divorce, costs of litigation are bound to mount quickly. And this applies to both parties, as both will have to spend for their own litigation costs. However, spurred on by its constructive and cooperative nature, mediation preempts the litigation process, saving both parties substantial amounts of money and offering them the option of sharing a defined, one-time cost.
Often overshadowed by the financial perks of divorce mediation, the way in which mediation reduces the detrimental effects of divorce on children is a sometimes overlooked benefit of the process. While it may not always seem apparent on the surface, children of all ages are amply aware of what is going on between “mommy and daddy” during a divorce. This often creates feelings of confusion, false senses of guilt, and anger (sometimes repressed) within them. The negative impact of divorce on children is only exacerbated exponentially as conflict rises between divorcing parents. By engaging in mediation, parties reduce the palpable conflict between them and, in turn, reduce stress on their children. It is highly unlikely that children can be completely insulated from the effects of divorce, but by proceeding via mediation, parties can minimize the emotional and mental burden on their children and ease the children’s transition through the divorce process.