There are many aspects to a divorce, and couples who have been together for a while may have built up numerous and significant assets. Trying to decide how to divide everything up in one of the bigger challenges in many divorce proceedings.
In a traditional court setting, the divorcing couple tends to have less control of the final outcome, which can result in an unfair division of property. Mediation, on the other hand, places control in each partner’s hands and allows them to work through things in a less stressful way.
Financial consequences of divorce
According to Market Watch, the financial consequences of divorce are greater for women, especially for those that took time off to raise children. In fact, more than 33% of divorced individuals have not recovered financially five years post-divorce. The financial impact is often worse for those over the age of 50 because there is less time to prepare for retirement.
One of the issues is that some couples let emotions take over when making decisions about dividing property and finances. A study showed couples who were in marriages for longer than 21 years seem to be especially lackadaisical when it comes to divorce proceedings.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation is an alternative to court litigation, and it allows the soon-to-be exes to focus on what is really important, rather than letting emotions get in the way. The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation found that couples who used mediation ended up with divorce agreements that were more fair, clear and comprehensive than those who went through litigation.
During mediation, a neutral third-party guides discussions between the two parties and helps them come up with an agreement. A mediator does his or her best to reduce conflict and improve communication, which usually results in a more open environment for the sides to work together and make smarter decisions. Mediation is also less expensive, less timely and less contentious than court proceedings.