Why We Mediate Divorces

Why We Mediate Divorces

Why We Mediate Divorces

Divorce mediation allows couples to define the terms of their divorce amicably and affordably and provides an opportunity to end the marriage with less toxicity. The result is a separation agreement that can be easily turned into a legal document and submitted to the court.

By Ehsan Ali and Alnoor Maherali

When we tell people that we handle divorce mediations, we invariably get a puzzled look and the question:
 
“Why would you want to be a part of that if you don’t have to be? Divorces are so nasty!” 

Divorces in movies and television are often knock-down drag-out brawls with winners and losers and perhaps you or someone close to you went through a divorce like that. The short answer is that we handle divorce mediations so that it does not have to be this way. 

Mediation is a collaborative process that lends itself to outcomes that are beneficial and satisfactory for both parties. And divorce can be a somewhat unique case within mediation because more often than not it aligns with one of the key principles of mediation - that it is a voluntary process. While most parties may not wish to go through a divorce, the marriage is coming to an end. This requires an agreement for the divorce to be recognized by the court. This is where mediation can help. 

No two divorces will ever be the same and there are always emotional issues at stake. There can be a lot of regrets, hurt feelings, and pain. Parties come into divorce negotiations with hopes for what they want to keep and expectations for what they deserve. They may also wish to prevent the other party from getting certain things or feel that the other party has no right to other things. It can be a lot to sort out and is often exacerbated by the emotional toll of the separation and the sense of ‘loss’ or ‘ending’. Make no mistake, divorces are difficult.

But we got into mediation to help people through difficult matters and we can think of few situations where we could do more good. At Venn Mediation, we acknowledge the emotions of our clients surrounding the transition they are making - whatever those may be. We provide the space to vent frustrations while affirming that the past is the past and we only have control over the future. We help parties identify their interests and communicate these to each other in an effective and respectful way. And we encourage parties to generate options collaboratively and to make their own decisions, rather than having a judge make the decisions for them as would happen in court.  

Another key strength of mediation is where - even if the parties don’t want one - there will be a post-divorce relationship. Either when kids or pets are involved or when social or professional circles are intertwined. When you can’t avoid seeing the other party after the divorce, mediation by its collaborative nature, can help minimize animosity down the road.

Lastly, statistically speaking, divorces utilizing mediators tend to be less expensive than divorces using only lawyers. The average cost of litigated divorce in New York without children involved is $17,100, and goes up to $25,600 when children are involved. Meanwhile, with mediators, the average costs tend to be between $7,000 and $10,000. Even in a mediation where each side chooses to have a lawyer, the collaborative nature of the mediation process means getting to an effective agreement faster, and therefore at a much lower cost, than court alone.

So if you or someone you know is going through a separation and seeks a more effective process, give us a call. We are based in New York but do online mediations as well. We would love to help.

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