As family lawyers in Perth, we deal with divorce on a daily basis. Here are just 6 reasons from our team on why mediation is the best way to divorce.
There can be no doubt that mediation is by far the quickest way to divorce. Unlike going through the courts, which can take months, or even years in many cases, the entire divorce process could be over after a few mediation sessions within a few weeks, avoiding much unnecessary conflict, anxiety and stress for the entire family.
All that is required is a genuine desire by both partners, to end the relationship as painlessly and as quickly as possible and move forward with their lives.
The number of sessions depend entirely on the number of unresolved issues, although the average is around 4 – 5 sessions. The process can be faster if both spouses can agree on as many issues as possible, before mediation commences.
Being quicker than any other process, also makes it cheaper too. When compared with litigating through the Court, mediation costs are considerably less. This allows more money to be available to both parties after the divorce.
Unlike full on litigation, where one never quite knows how much it could end up costing, most mediators charge a flat fee and both parties know upfront as to exactly how much they may be in for.
Even if all issues are not resolved and they have to be settled in the Court, the cost of mediation would still have been worth it, as only the unresolved issues will be decided by the Court, thus significantly reducing the overall legal fees for both parties.
No other way of divorcing is more confidential than by mediation. This process is bound by law to remain private and confidential and no information shared during mediation can be disclosed to anyone and cannot even be used as evidence should the matter end up in Court.
This is a huge factor in mediation as it encourages both parties to be open and divulge sensitive and personal information without the fear of it ever becoming public, as it can be in litigation, often allowing a smoother process towards reaching an amicable settlement. It also encourages parties to feel more open in making offers to the other party, to try and settle things.
It’s Less Stressful
Mediators do not take sides and do not give legal advice, but they are a “voice of reason” in the room, enabling parties to negotiate fairly, reasonably and within the law, towards reaching a settlement they both can live with, thus reducing tension, and paving the way for a smoother process towards reaching an amicable settlement.
By both parties knowing their legal rights, it can avoid unreasonable demands being made by either party.
Mediators are not interested on who is to blame for the breakdown of the relationship, but focus entirely on seeking a mutually agreed settlement and avoiding the Courts as far as possible.
As each marriage comes with its own unique circumstances, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to divorce mediation.
Mediators fully understand the needs and emotions of both parties and allow them to take their time before making any decision, take as many breaks as they wish and have as many sessions as required to reach a settlement. Many mediators are also qualified family lawyers, and offer sound legal guidance on all financial, asset division and child related matters.
Mediators allow the parties to choose the mediation venue, be it their own offices, or even by phone or video conferencing and during afterhours if need be. This is totally different to litigation where one is bound by strict Court rules and procedures, which can be quite intimidating for many people.
You Stay In Control Of The Outcome
While Court procedures are strictly formal affairs where you depend entirely on lawyers to argue your case and a Judge to decide for you, in mediation both parties have complete control of the outcome. The final decision reached is made by you and your ex, and no one else. It is usually fair, practical, and in the best interests of the whole family. There are no winners or losers.
Both parties are free to have a relative, close friend or even their own lawyer for support during the entire mediation process, as long as both parties agree to that. If a spouse feels threatened or intimidated by their partner, or there has been a history of violence, they even have the choice of holding the mediation sessions in separate rooms.
As mediators remain neutral at all times, they will not pressurise you to accept any terms you may not feel comfortable with. You can take as much time as you like to think each point through and may even take the proposal to your own lawyer for a second opinion before deciding, or even withdrawing from the process. The bottom line is that YOU get to make the decisions.
Considering using mediation for your divorce? Get in touch with Hickman Family Lawyers today for more information about how mediation can help you navigate your separation and divorce. Book a free 15-minute consultation here.