How does mediation differ from a trial?

When you have come to the difficult decision to go through with a divorce, you may believe that a tough court fight looms ahead of you. However, this does not have to be the case. Some divorcing couples find that they can save money and spare themselves emotional stress by ending their marriage through mediation. 

If you have never heard of divorce mediation, you might not know what to expect. Is it the same as a trial or similar to one? The Florida Courts website provides some information to help you understand how mediation differs from court trials. 

Mediators do not impose solutions

In a court trial, you and your spouse present arguments before a judge who will rule on a final settlement. With mediation, you have control over the final outcome. A mediator facilitates talks between you and your spouse to help you resolve issues in your divorce. 

A mediator is neither a judge nor an advocate for either side. Your mediator will act as a neutral individual while you and your spouse work things out. Also, mediation is more private than a court proceeding. You do not have to worry about possible public embarrassment stemming from a divorce trial. 

Mediation is not arbitration

Some people confuse mediation and arbitration, but the two are not the same. Arbitration is more like a court trial but less formal, with the two spouses presenting evidence to an arbitrator. Unlike a mediator, an arbitrator has the power to impose a settlement on the couple. 

Basically, with a trial or arbitration, you are placing your fate in the hands of a judge or someone who acts like a judge. Mediation does not involve such a gamble and has the potential to lead to a better outcome.