Does mediation provide for better divorce agreements?

Both lawyers and mediators are capable of assisting couples to work out the details of their divorce. The difference between the lawyers and mediators is the approach to negotiations. Lawyers are trained in an adversarial process to get the best deal they can for their clients. This is a good thing. The downside however is that it can lead to more conflict between the couple when each is focused on getting the best deal possible. It can also lead to higher costs and time delays, as well as increase conflict. Mediators are trained to use a collaborative approach to assist clients to negotiate a deal that is in the best interests of everyone involved. In the end, both processes will lead to a divorce agreement. It’s not that one agreement is necessarily better than the other, but that the process used to reach the agreement meets the needs of the couple. If the couple cannot work together or someone has addictions or mental health issues, then the adversarial approach would likely be the best process to use. However, If the couple wants to have some kind of connection going forward, either to remain as friends or to co-parent effectively, mediation is a less adversarial approach and would likely lead to an agreement that both people are more satisfied with. There is research that indicates that people who mediate have a greater likelihood of weekly contact with their children, more in compliance with child support, more likely to rate their relationship with their ‘ex’ as cordial, etc. Choose the approach that fits with your circumstance.