You have many options on how to approach your divorce. There is traditional litigation, where you argue in court and let a judge determine the outcome. On the opposite end is an uncontested divorce, where you have no disagreements on terms, a common method for those with no children or assets.
What if your case is too complex or full of conflict for the uncontested route, but you do not want to go to court either? You may find that mediation is the right choice for you. In fact, the court is likely to order you to try it first anyway.
What happens in mediation?
The process involves meeting with a neutral facilitator who will help you and your spouse decide on your divorce agreement. The mediator simply encourages communication and resolution.
You can meet to work out just the areas you are fighting over, or you can go through every aspect of divorce. You may not be able to solve every problem in mediation. Although mediators can also be attorneys and other legal professionals, they do not force cooperation or enforce the divorce order.
What are the benefits of mediation?
It may seem like mediation is best for simpler situations, but it actually is beneficial no matter how complicated your divorce. That is because the underlying goal is for you and your spouse to be in control. You two know what is best for your family better than a judge does.
When you come up with the agreement yourselves, you are more likely to comply, which means fewer problems down the road. It also helps eliminate a "win-lose" mentality. Other benefits include:
Reducing contention and intense emotions
Setting a civil and cooperative tone for after the divorce
Moving the process along faster
Saving money on legal and court fees
Protecting the well-being of children involved
A high-asset divorce is no reason to prevent you from trying mediation. In fact, the more that is on the table, the more you should be in control of what happens.