Voluntary Vs. Court-Ordered Mediation: Which Is Right For You And Your Spouse?

17 June 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog

Mediation is one of the most useful means of ending disagreements about a divorce. Ideally, couples should choose to enter mediation on their own, but sometimes the court can order them to participate. If you are heading for divorce, here is what you need to know about court-ordered and voluntary mediation.  

Why Should You Voluntarily Attend Mediation? 

Voluntary mediation has a number of benefits, including an increased likelihood for success. If both couples are willingly participating, they are more open to resolving the issues they are facing. If they are able to agree in a relatively short period of time, they do not have to worry about delays to the divorce.  

Another benefit of voluntary mediation is that it gives you and your spouse a chance to end the marriage as amicably as possible. During mediation, you will have to keep the lines of communication open. If you and your spouse share children, this can be evidence that both of you are capable of co-parenting.  

There are a couple of drawbacks to voluntary mediation that you and your spouse should take into account. One possible issue is that you and your spouse will have to pay for the mediator's services from the start. However, if you are able to resolve your issues, you can avoid some of the other expenses associated with divorce, including a protracted court battle.  

Another issue with voluntary mediation is that there is no guarantee that the sessions will be successful. Since it is voluntary, each party can walk away at any time. If that happens, you will have to rely on other means to settle your issues.  

What If the Judge Orders Mediation? 

If a judge has ordered you and your spouse to head to mediation, it can still be beneficial for both of you. One of the main benefits is that you might be able to find a mediator who is willing to work with you for a smaller fee because it has been court-ordered. Depending on the county in which you live, the court could likely recommend low-cost mediators.  

It is important to note that with court-ordered mediator, you and your spouse will have to continue to attend the sessions until the judge is satisfied that the divorce issues have been solved or he or she believes that you and your spouse are unable to work together. At that point, the judge will decide the next step. 

Talk to your attorney about mediation (or visit this think: http://gomezmaylaw.com/) and its possible benefits from the start to ensure you have fully explored your options.