Shot of two young men and a woman having a discussion in a modern office, discussing divorce mediation

Top 10 Benefits of Choosing Divorce Mediation Over Litigation

By Bob Matteucci

When David Letterman was the host of the Late Show he used to do this bit where he would read a top ten list of items that related to a common theme. The first list ever was “The Top Ten Words That Almost Rhyme With ‘Peas’” and things only got more absurd from there, with the lists often skewering popular culture or current events. 

Though Letterman himself was no stranger to the family court system, the Late Show featured shockingly few Top Ten Lists dedicated to the topic. To remedy that, here is a list of the Top 10 Benefits of Choosing Divorce Mediation Over Litigation.

10. You’re Not Going To The Mattresses 

In The Godfather, Sonny Corleone uses the expression “go to the mattresses” to paint a picture of all-out war between families. It implies a fight so difficult and long-lasting mafia guys are going to be sleeping on mattresses in safe houses until things are settled. 

Mediation is the exact opposite. If you want to pick a fight with your former partner, mediation isn’t for you. The whole process is collaborative rather than confrontational, with the goal of hammering out an agreement everyone can live with.

9. Life in the Fast Lane 

Since mediation forces you to focus on fighting a solution rather than fighting with one another, cases are typically resolved faster than those that are litigated. 

Mediation sessions themselves last only a few hours or a few weeks. The most time-consuming part of a mediation is waiting for the court to approve whatever the parties agreed to. 

8. As Neutral As Switzerland 

Switzerland has been a neutral party in international disputes for centuries. Rather than taking sides when disputes arise, it has become known for attempting to broker peace deals and defuse tense situations. The country is successful because everyone knows they are truly neutral. 

The same goes for mediators. A mediator is a truly neutral third party. Unlike a judge, a mediator does not have the power to decide what the right course of action is and order the parties to agree to it. This lack of power is actually a hidden benefit because both parties can trust that the mediator will work toward common ground instead of pushing their own agenda. 

7. A Very Particular Set of Skills

If a divorce or other family law dispute involves a complex issue, and the parties would benefit from the advice of an expert, a mediator who specializes in particular types of cases may be sought out — or another professional, like an appraiser or financial planner, may be brought in — to assist. 

Attorney Matteucci is a highly sought after mediator in cases where there are complex business assets that must be divided up. His experience as a business owner, and his MBA degree give him unique insight into these cases. 

6. Cost-Effective & Efficient

Rather than having each side hire their own attorney, both parties chip in to hire a mediator to handle their case. 

Hiring a single attorney makes the cost of mediation significantly less than litigation, but that is not the only efficiency it provides. Mediation forces you to focus on fighting a solution rather than fighting with one another, which means your case is less contentious and quicker to resolve. 

5. What Happens In Mediation Stays In Mediation 

We’ve all seen The Hangover so we know what happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay there. But what happens in mediation actually does. 

In order for the mediator to facilitate an open and honest discussion of the issues a couple needs to resolve, the parties involved must agree that all conversations that happen during mediation remain confidential. That means neither side can use the opposing party’s statements against them later if the mediation fails. 

4. Open Your Basket and Get to Cooking 

Have you ever watched the tv show Chopped and seen a great chef make something that you would actually enjoy out of a basket of ingredients that seem inedible? If so, you can begin to imagine what a mediated divorce agreement looks like. 

When you have the incentive to be flexible and try your best to come to an understanding with your former partner, you may be surprised how great the outcome can be. Litigation is limiting, mediation is limitless when it comes to crafting a divorce agreement that truly meets your family’s needs. 

3. Time is on Your Side 

Mediating your divorce allows you and your former partner to set your own schedule. You aren’t at the mercy of the courts, and you aren’t paying two attorneys to spend time working against each other to try and solve the same problem. 

2. Separate the Person from the Problem 

Even though New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state, divorcing couples have a tendency to demonize the other party. Mediation can help you separate the person you used to love from the problems that have caused your divorce. 

By focusing on finding solutions that allow both of you to move forward, you can avoid finger pointing and hard feelings. This is particularly helpful if you have small children and must be co-parents for the foreseeable future. 

1. Future Focused 

The end result of every divorce is the same — the marriage is over. But the path each party chooses to take post-divorce is always different. Mediation gives you the tools you need to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past. 

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion 

Mediating a divorce can save a couple money, time, and the headaches that come with more adversarial forms of divorce. The process gives a divorcing couple the ability to work out their differences and craft a separation agreement that truly fits their unique needs. 

If you and your soon-to-be-former partner are interested in pursuing a mediated divorce, Attorney Bob Matteucci is here to help.  Contact the Matteucci Family Law Firm today to schedule a meeting.

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.