Going through a court trial during a divorce is expensive, and it is often extremely combative. Because of this, more couples are choosing mediation.
There are numerous benefits to mediation, and when the parties involve other experts, the outcomes are usually favorable for both sides.
How mediation works
In a series of sessions, a mediator, who is a neutral third party, guides conversations between the two sides to determine debt and asset division, child custody, living arrangements, spousal alimony and other aspects involved in a divorce agreement. The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation discusses that a mediator may take one of two approaches: Facilitative or evaluative.
In facilitative mediation, the mediator ensures the conversations between the two parties are open and smooth. In evaluative mediation, the mediator may take more of a role in evaluating each side’s positions and proposing a fair settlement. A mediator also helps the couple work through conflicts and arguments.
Involving the right parties for a more collaborative outcome
Psychology Today discusses another model that some divorcing couples are using, which is integrative mediation. This involves additional divorce specialists, such as a mental health specialist and financial expert, to help the couple make decisions and come to a collaborative agreement.
All the professionals work together and with the couple, which allows for more coordination. The goal of this approach is to have common ground and come up with a win-win resolution as opposed to a win-lose situation, which usually occurs with litigation.
Even though integrative mediation is more expensive than using a single mediator, it is still less expensive than litigation and is beneficial in more complex divorces.