Divorce Mediation Vs. Traditional Court Litigation: Which Is Best?

Mediation is growing in popularity as an alternative to courtroom litigation for those who want to file for divorce.

When people file for divorce in Missouri or in any other state across the nation, they may not be fully aware of their options. Couples are not limited to just one type of divorce, such as traditional courtroom litigation. Instead, there are a host of different ways couples can file for divorce, negotiate the terms of the divorce and then finalize the divorce settlement. Over the past few years, mediation has grown in popularity as an alternative option for couples who want to bypass a lengthy courtroom battle.

A look At The Mediation Process

The mediation process is significantly different than a courtroom divorce. Mediation sessions take place in a non-confrontational environment where couples are encouraged to actively discuss the terms of the divorce settlement. Although attorneys are not required to be present at mediation sessions, some people may prefer to have their lawyer by their side during the negotiations process. According to the Huffington Post, each session is held by a third-party mediator who is available to answer any legal questions that may arise. The mediator, however, is unable to give personal legal assistance to either party.

Advantages To The Mediation Process

For some couples, this form of divorce negotiation has many benefits when compared to court litigation. One of the main benefits is that couples are able to create the terms of their own divorce settlement. In some cases, this allows them to come up with terms that would not otherwise be available through court litigation. The American Bar Association suggests the following benefits as well:

  • Affordable: Since mediation takes place out of court, there are no court costs and fees.
  • Quick: Couples are often able to schedule their own mediation sessions rather than have to wait for court dates.
  • Compliance: Studies show that people are more likely to comply with the terms of their settlement if they have had a role in creating it.

Couples who go through mediation often leave the marriage with less hostility and anger toward one another than they may have had if they had gone through court. This makes this option better for parents, business partners or anyone else who must continue a relationship once the divorce is finalized.

Seeking Legal Counsel

Whether you are just entering into the divorce process or you are discussing mediation as an option, a family attorney in St. Louis may be able to help. A lawyer may be able to give you personalized legal assistance, answer your questions and review your options when it comes to terminating your marriage.