Divorce Mediation Spike Might Continue When Pandemic Ends
Government-imposed lockdowns, court closures and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have triggered an increase in the use of divorce mediation throughout the United States. Whether conducted online or in a controlled setting with just the necessary people present, mediation has allowed spouses to reach settlements that can be incorporated into a marriage dissolution order. Some of the couples who have used this type of alternative dispute resolution might not have done so had the courts been operating normally. But there’s reason to believe that this upward trend in mediation might continue even after judges resume hearing divorce cases.
For years, many couples have recognized the advantages offered by the divorce mediation process. Changes in daily life prompted by the coronavirus have enhanced the importance of these benefits, such as:
- Keeping control of costs —Getting into court to start your divorce trial usually takes a long time even under the best of circumstances. As states deal with the numerous cases that were stopped during the pandemic, the wait likely will be even longer. But in mediation, you’ll have a good idea about how long the process will take. The parties and mediator focus on achieving a mutually agreeable resolution in a prompt, cost-effective manner.
- Avoiding unnecessary risks — Litigation typically requires in-person court appearances and extensive preparation time with attorneys. In an age when each public encounter might pose a health risk, mediation streamlines the divorce process, eliminating court procedures related to discovery and the use of expert witnesses.
- Minimizing the potential for conflict — Even in situations where families have not been affected directly by COVID-19 illness, adults and children have been through a long, traumatic crisis due to the quarantine. This should encourage people to overlook small grievances and seek to resolve disputes in a healthy manner instead of facing off against each other in an adversarial setting. An experienced mediator will work on finding common ground and averting emotional conflicts.
Regardless of how long the court system will be dealing with the impact of the coronavirus, it’s worthwhile to explore how effective divorce mediation might make a difficult time easier for you and your loved ones.
At Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. in Melville, we help spouses in Suffolk and Nassau counties address issues relating to child custody, alimony, property division and child support. Please call 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.