The Difference between Divorce Mediation and Arbitration

People seldom like taking matters to court and during divorce it is the same. The good news is that you don’t need to do that either, you can instead find a divorce mediator. The truth is going to court is very expensive and can be very time consuming as well. To avoid the courthouse with your divorce process you can use either mediation or arbitration. These options, while having the same end goal have a few differences as well.

Divorce Mediation or Divorce Arbitration

Both Mediation and Arbitration are considered as alternative dispute resolution processes or ADR.  If you should take your divorce to civil court the most common type of ADR that you will be offered is arbitration. In this process both individuals have their case tried before an arbitrator. In this type of proceeding the arbitrator is usually a retired judge but may also be an active judge or a highly experienced lawyer. The proceedings progress like any regular case with the exception of their not being a jury and everything is left up to the arbitrator. They in effect weight he evidence brought forth by both parties and then makes a ruling based on the facts and findings. Arbitration is a more formal process and whatever the arbitrator rules must be honored by both parties as there is no room for negotiations.

The Role of The Divorce Mediator

In mediation on the other hand there is negotiation; in fact the entire process is founded on negotiations. This process requires a neutral individual to act as the negotiator or guide. This person is usually a lawyer who has been trained as a mediator.  It is an informal process that does not take place in the courtroom and is nothing like that which takes place in the courtroom. The mediator in this case helps both parties to identify the issues of their divorce and help them to reach an amicable place of compromise on those issues. The divorce mediator does not make the final decision but instead allows both parties to come to a common agreement. They listen objectively to each side of the story and help the individuals to reach a compromise so none will feel like they have been unfairly dealt with. This type of process is less stressful than arbitration and may have both parties leaving the marriage with a better attitude towards each other. The mediation process involves the divorce mediator meeting which each party separately initially then they go on to schedule face to face meetings depending on the situation.

Now that you know what the difference between arbitration and mediation in divorce proceedings you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you will need the services of a divorce mediator. If you still are not certain which method to take you could talk to an attorney about your decision and they can help you decide which option would be best according to your situation.

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