Different Approaches to Divorce – Mediation and Divorce, Part I


In Minnesota, couples considering divorce have several options available. One of these is mediation, which is the process where the parties discuss their issues with a professional mediator acting as a facilitator to creating an agreement. All the issues that are involved in a "typical" litigated divorce are addressed, including custody agreements, financial settlements and property division. Rather than arguing about these issues in a courtroom through their respective attorneys, couples who engaging in mediation agree to work through their issues, with their attorneys, in a setting that can be less antagonistic. At Banas Family Law, P.A., we work with our clients to determine the best possible process for their specific case.

Unlike judges, mediators do not make decisions. Instead, they work will both parties in order to create fair agreements. When decisions are made, the attorneys will draft and review the papers submitted to the court for approval. When the couple works together to amicably end the marriage, there is less likelihood that the end result will be viewed as unfair by either party.

Many couples appreciate a mediation-focused approach to divorce because it promotes honest, respectful communication between the parties. Mediators work to create an environment where each party feels supported and any power imbalances are negated. Couples work through their divorce with the understanding that they are focusing on their futures and are not rehashing their past. At Banas Family Law, our attorneys guide our clients toward a less-frustrating path.

Couples find that mediation eases emotional and physical stress that seem to come with the territory during a divorce. Because every aspect of the divorce process is worked through with a mediator, there is less time spent arguing over even the smallest detail in front of a judge, where emotions may run high and overrun common sense.

Couples also appreciate mediation because it is less expensive than a traditional litigation-based approach to divorce. Rather than pay their attorneys to fight over every single aspect of the divorce judgment, couples engage in a constructive discourse to resolve even the most contentious issues together to their mutual satisfaction.

While it may seem that mediation is only for those mythical couples who want to divorce as friends, that is not the case. Even those couples who are less-than-happy with each other find mediation successful so long as they are invested in the process. A couple must approach mediation with an honest interest in resolving their issues respectfully and with integrity. In doing so, they can end their marriage on good terms.