EP 5: Should You Use Mediation or Litigation For Your Divorce?

Welcome to the fifth episode of Divorce and Your Money Podcast. Your host, Shawn Leamon, MBA and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, discusses the process of getting divorced through mediation.

Some couples find mediation as a useful way to get divorced. Mediation involves hiring a neutral third party, such as a retired judge, who will help you resolve specific issues of contention in your divorce or help negotiate the whole process. Both you and your spouse must agree to use a mediator, and one problem with mediation is that it is nonbinding.

The biggest advantage of mediation is that it can be a quick and less formal method of getting divorced. It can also help minimize certain issues and acrimony. Since court dates are not involved, mediation can resolve a divorce faster than through litigation.

The nonbinding element of mediation is a double-edged sword, as it can sometimes be a waste of time and money. Another disadvantage is that it is not appropriate in all cases. If you and your spouse have serious issues, mediation is not the right path for you to follow.

You should be aware, though, that mediation will likely save you some money. It is an efficient way to navigate the divorce process and doesn’t involve a lot of court paperwork. It is not as public as other options, and it does not bind you.

Key Learning Points:

  • Mediation is fast and less formal.
  • Mediation can be less expensive than litigation.
  • Mediation is more private.
  • Decisions are nonbinding, although that could be a problem.
  • In some cases, mediation is not appropriate.