For most people, the word divorce conjures images of ruthless and intense litigation, which is what happens in a contested divorce. You may feel surprised to learn that a significant portion of people who file for divorce actually file uncontested proceedings, which means that the spouses agree to terms before they even file for divorce.
An uncontested divorce can be cheaper and faster than a litigated divorce, and it can also reduce the amount of acrimony between you and your ex and the amount of stress the divorce creates for your children.
If you don’t currently agree on all of the important terms for your divorce, you might think that an uncontested divorce won’t be possible. However, mediation can help you get from a place where you don’t agree on any details to a place where you and your ex are ready to have the courts officialize the terms you set. There are certain signs that divorce mediation could work well for you and your ex.
Other than wanting a divorce, you had a healthy relationship
Perhaps the biggest counter-indication for divorce mediation is an unhealthy or unbalanced spousal relationship. If one spouse abuses or bullies the other, the chances are that that behavior will carry over in the mediation, making it either unsuccessful or patently unfair. Only couples with a healthy, balanced overall relationship can likely successfully complete mediation in a manner that is fair to all.
Both of you want to reduce your costs or protect your kids
Mediation is a very popular form of alternative dispute resolution for divorce, but it only works if both parties want to honestly work together. If you can’t imagine compromising on any issues simply because you have so much anger toward your ex, mediation probably won’t work for you. However, if you are willing to make compromises and small sacrifices in order to quickly and cleanly and your marriage, mediation could help.
There are specific terms or assets that really matter to you in this divorce
As counter-intuitive as it may seem at first, having a specific goal on which you refuse to compromise could also be a good reason to consider mediation. Mediation requires compromise in the macro sense, but it also provides you more control over the outcome and the terms for your divorce.
Whether you really want to spend a specific holiday with your children or to retain a certain asset, mediation can let you focus on your most significant goals while compromising and areas of less importance to you.
If you think mediation could work for your divorce, it’s important to broach the topic with your ex and make sure that they are also willing to work with you before going any further with the process.