4 reasons divorce mediation can benefit spouses in Ohio

Mediation can help spouses create their own settlement terms, protect their privacy, lower their divorce-related costs and decrease conflict.

To many people who are preparing for divorces in Hamilton, negotiating a settlement with a soon-to-be ex-spouse may not sound very appealing or practical. However, divorce mediation, in which divorcing spouses reach a resolution with the aid of a neutral third party, is becoming a widely used alternative to litigation. This form of alternative dispute resolution can provide several distinct benefits over other approaches to divorce, starting with the following four.

1. Enhanced control

Mediation enables each spouse to maintain greater control over the final outcome of the divorce. Whereas a judge decides how to resolve divorce litigation, a mediator cannot dictate the terms of a divorce settlement, according to the Ohio State Bar Association. A settlement can only be finalized if both spouses agree to it. This level of control can allow spouses to reach tailored agreements on important issues, such as child custody arrangements, that suit their unique preferences and circumstances.

2. Increased privacy

Mediation can also help spouses protect their divorce proceedings from public scrutiny. Forbes states that mediation and its results remain private, while divorce litigation is a matter of public record. This privacy may be especially beneficial for people with prominent public reputations and individuals whose divorces involve sensitive issues, such as allegations of adultery.

3. Cost savings

The OSBA notes that divorce mediation is frequently a more economical option than litigation. Mediation can reduce each spouse's direct legal costs by promoting a faster resolution. Additionally, mediation may spare spouses from hiring other professionals to provide divorce-related services, such as appraisals, forensic accounting reviews or testimony during trial.

4. Greater amicability

Mediation can decrease conflict and encourage spouses to work collaboratively as they complete the divorce. This may particularly be helpful to divorcing parents, according to Forbes. Mediation can provide all of the following benefits for children:

• Reducing strife and tension between parents

• Sparing children from adversarial court proceedings

• Laying a foundation for cooperative co-parenting in the future

For other divorcing couples, mediation can promote a better long-term relationship, which is beneficial if ongoing interactions between both spouses will be necessary.

Approaching mediation successfully

Divorcing spouses should bear in mind that mediation will only offer these benefits if it results in a relatively fair and balanced settlement. If spouses agree to unfavorable terms at the conclusion of mediation, one spouse may suffer financial losses and other serious ramifications. Furthermore, if mediation fails, spouses may have to turn to litigation, which will cost them additional time and money.

Given these risks, it is essential for spouses are considering mediation to seek qualified legal assistance. An attorney may be able to offer advice on whether mediation provides a suitable solution in light of a person's unique circumstances. An attorney may also be able to assist spouses in reaching a reasonable and legally enforceable agreement through mediation.