Is Mediation Right For Our Divorce?

Some marriages are good, some are bad, and some are ugly. But ultimately, the end of almost all marriages are challenging in their own unique ways.

Mediation is an opportunity to collaboratively settle a divorce on mutual terms through a neutral facilitator, without engaging with litigation attorneys  or judges. Mediation may be the best way to legally separate, depending on the nature of the spouses and their relationship history, as well as other circumstances. It is important for you and your spouse to ask yourselves and each other if mediation is indeed the right fit for you so that you can confidently move forward. 

Should You And Your Spouse Mediate?

The Cost Of Divorce

The average cost of a divorce in Orange County is $80,000 per person, including attorney fees. When it comes to litigation, the greater the friction, the longer the litigation, the higher the total fees.

The reason why mediation costs a fraction of what litigation often would is that mediation requires that the couple work together, rather than against one another, to resolve their conflicts. The goal of mediation is a win-win, rather than one spouse as the “winner” and the other as the “loser”.

Mediation Requires Honesty And Respect 

Consider the following questions when contemplating divorce mediation:


Are we each willing to voluntarily attend mediation?

Are we willing to amicably discuss and resolve the issues in our marriage?

Are we willing to try to mediate to avoid escalation to court?

Am I willing to be honest and candid about my  emotional, behavioral, and financial health?

Am I willing to compromise if needed?

Are we willing to discuss (or have we discussed) the division of property and/or the sharing of custody?

If you are hesitant or unsure about whether or not to proceed with mediation, a mediator can offer consultation to help determine if mediation is the best course of action. Mediation does require certain conditions to be met, which is why mediation may not be suitable for cases that involve experiences with active domestic violence, abuse, or mental illness. That said, it is still advisable given any scenario or history to consult with a mediator to help you evaluate your options. 

How To Choose A Divorce Mediator

We recommend asking yourselves 3 questions when choosing a mediator:

What are your goals for the mediation?

What are your expectations for mediation?

What is your and/or your spouse’s budget?

What Are Your Goals For Mediation?

What do you hope to resolve and settle through mediation? What conflicts have you attempted to negotiate in the past, without satisfactory outcomes, and wish to negotiate through facilitation by an impartial third party? What topics or issues do you wish to discuss, and on which of these do you hold firm positions or flexibility to compromise?

Asking these questions can help you in knowing what to look for in a mediator with the experience and expertise in addressing you and your spouse’s specific needs.

What Do You Expect From Mediation?

Do you feel like you are constantly losing in arguments or negotiations? Do you hope that mediation will establish fairness in debate?

At what pace do you expect to make progress through the mediation process? Would you prefer to spend weeks or months? Do your expectations and timelines align with that of your spouse?

An expert mediator can help establish greater clarity in the expression of each spouse’s opinions and points of view , while encouraging accountability towards mutual timelines.

What Is Your Budget For Mediation?

How much money have you budgeted for the entire mediation process? Will your partner contribute, and if so, how much? 

As with many forms of expertise, you “get what you pay for” when hiring a divorce mediator. You deserve a mediator whose expertise and services are best suited for your needs and budget. This is not an area where you want to choose the cheapest service just because it costs the least. 

The good news is that the cost of any mediator will almost always cost a fraction of what litigation would otherwise cost altogether in fees.

Ask An Expert Mediator

Colleen McNamee is renowned for her ability to navigate the conflicts and complexities of legal separation. Colleen McNamee understands your emotional and practical concerns and is able to provide guidance to couples on a wide range of marital matters.

If you have any questions about divorce mediation, give McNamee Mediations a call today to help you move forward. 


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