Relief swept over me when the final documents for the divorce arrived in the mail. It was over. Finally. No more court dates, witnesses and paperwork submissions. Going to court puts stress on everyone involved. Little did I know, I would be summoned to court almost a year later after it was finalized. If you have an ounce of good in you, go to mediation if you decide to be the petitioner in your divorce. Settle everything in less than a year. Divorce court is grueling and there is no end! If you are in an abusive situation, court is the only choice unfortunately. My heart goes out to you. Here’s the plea, if you are set on divorcing your spouse for any reason and you have some love for them, go to counseling first and if divorce is still the only answer go to mediation. If you are heartless and there is no abuse involved you will choose court; hardhearted or ill-informed always do.
Although I have no personal experience with mediation, an acquaintance of mine was the respondent in his mediation divorce. He cheated on his wife with someone in his office. They had one child under the age of 5. After listening to his experience and how merciful his ex-wife was in the whole ordeal, mediation sounds so much better for the following reasons:
- Mediation is less stressful. If you find the right mediation group, they will walk you through the divorce process and counsel you on your decisions for both parties.
- Mediation is less costly. A court case has no end in sight if one spouse cannot handle stress. Court becomes costly quickly and the judge does not hold the attorneys accountable even though the parties involved are under such emotional stress from their lives being ripped apart. Every minute counts towards your invoice. EVERY MINUTE.
- Mediation is more fair. Both sides are heard equally. In court, there is no guarantee of fairness or equality. The judge must listen to many court cases a day and depending on the judge’s mood your court case could go one way or another.
- Mediation is more private. Court is a public affair. Anyone can sit in on the hearings. The documents submitted can be accessed by anyone with a driver license.
- Mediation is more family friendly. All court documents are signed in an office and no one must go to court. This is helpful especially if you have young children, because there are no delays. No delays mean, you do not have to take advantage of your child care options thereby burning bridges because you could not set appropriate expectations with your family, friends, babysitter, or nanny. Also mediation is more flexible with the custody schedule. The court will give standard options; however, these options have not been monitored nor tested to find out whether the schedule was good for the children. There is absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY. Parents, you know what is best. If one parent is more active in the children’s lives, let that parent decide or come to a happy compromise.
Mediation is less stressful, less costly, more fair, more private and more family friendly than court; therefore mediation in theory is so much better than court. Do not take your spouse to court if you do not have to. If you do not have children and you do not have assets, you don’t even need an attorney. Many states will allow you to divorce online. Divorce is so difficult. Do not make it more difficult than it needs to be. Follow your agreements with your co-parent and always do what’s best for the children.
Finalize your divorce through mediation, it is better for everyone.