You can easily lose your dignity in traditional divorce litigation. First, you lose control because the court system will determine when you see a judge and how much time you receive from the judge at various hearings or even trial. Second, you lose your privacy because everything that is filed with the court is public record. Finally, you are likely to experience a financial disaster because the cost of litigation is often more like a runaway train.
If you choose mediation, you can protect your privacy and your dignity. Mediation avoids the emotional trauma of an adve rs arial process. Some couples will choose mediation because they know it will save them a great deal of money and there is nothing wrong with that. However, perhaps the better reason to choose mediation is to keep control of the outcome of your divorce and thereby maintain your dignity.
A successful mediation outcome does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse are going to hold hands and sing “kumbaya.” However, it does mean that you and your spouse will feel safe and smart—knowing that you have designed your own agreement and avoided the emotional rigo rs and expense of courthouse litigation.
If your divorce involves minor children, you will create a parenting plan with the help of your mediator. Your mediator might also suggest the assistance of an outside neutral parenting coach, such as a trained family therapist. Here in Los Angeles County , I encourage divorcing parents to attend the free P.A.C.T. class, which stands for Parents and Children Together. It is an excellent 3 hour parenting class, which is designed to give parents the skills to communicate with each other and their children going forward. Parents may attend the class individually or together. Children do not attend. The P.A.C.T. class is also available in paternity cases.