Divorce mediation offers separating couples a flexible and amicable way to resolve issues such as child custody, wealth distribution or other prickly issues. For the process to work, both spouses need to be able to speak up for what's important to them and behave themselves appropriately in the presence of their spouse. Here is a look at some benefits of divorce mediation to help you decide whether it can be applicable to your unique situation.

The couple makes all the decisions

Unlike a divorce or arbitration proceeding where a judge has the final say about the terms of your agreement with your spouse, mediation allows you and your ex to come up with the decisions that suit you and to decide what's fair.

The mediator in your case is there to bring out the issues that affect your separation and help you come up with amicable solutions that work for both parties. Important decisions about alimony payments, child custody, and other key issues are not left in the hands of strangers, giving you and your spouse more control over the outcome of the separation.

The process also enables you to speak out and be heard, as your mediator will be there to help you negotiate, get the other party to pay attention to your concerns, and elicit, explore, and generate mutually beneficial options that you and your spouse can discuss. Mediation, therefore, leads to a much better resolution of outstanding issues through dialogue, compromise, and mutual respect.

Faster resolution and more flexible

The process of mediation involves less cumbersome procedures than court proceedings. You and your spouse will typically be paying a mediator like Wilson Christen LLP to help you resolve your issues and move forward with the separation. There are no complex motion papers to be filed or time spent in court hearings. You and your spouse also get to set the timeframe for resolving issues instead of working under a court's timetable which is often slow and complicated. 

Mediators are also often able to work around your family schedule, as opposed to a divorce court, allowing for more flexibility when meeting and discussing contentious issues with your spouse.

Mediation offers a streamlined approach to the information-gathering and decision-making process, making the process of separation much faster and civil. With both parties in dialogue rather than in conflict, the process is more constructive, and more progress can be made.

The role of a divorce lawyer in mediation

Divorce lawyers can be involved in your mediation case to help with a couple of issues. Firstly, they can help coach you through negotiations on certain complex matters as well as help prepare the necessary divorce paperwork once an agreement is reached. The lawyers can also negotiate on your behalf in cases involving domestic violence or substance abuse issues.