Skip to main content

What Are The Benefits Of Divorce Mediation?

By May 22, 2024May 24th, 2024Divorce, Mediation

When it comes to assets in a divorce, the two biggest decisions are the house and the retirement. What do you do with the house in a divorce? I have some thoughts…

What is Divorce Mediation?

So, what exactly is divorce mediation? Our first step in understanding the benefits of divorce mediation is to define it.

Divorce mediation is a process where an impartial third party, the mediator, guides a divorcing couple through the settlement of their divorce. A mediator is not a judge and does not decide a divorce. A mediator is not an arbitrator (which is a private judge). A mediator determines the agenda and guides the divorcing couple through the agenda until all decisions are made and a divorce is reached. Ultimately, it is the parties, not the mediator, who make the final decisions.

Think of a divorce mediator as a well-equipped tour guide taking you through the fiery pits of Hades and out to the other side. A great divorce mediator knows how to avoid the pits of lava and guides you out of Hades until you reach the light on the other side.


One of the most recognizable benefits of divorce mediation is its cost-effectiveness. Divorce can be very expensive if you don’t intentionally manage the costs. On average, divorce mediation costs between $6,000 and $14,000 total, while a litigated divorce, on average, costs a staggering $30,000 to $50,000. Even writing hurts.

Mediation and Co-Parenting: A Winning Combination

For parents, one of the most significant benefits of divorce mediation is its focus on co-parenting. Let’s be real – parenting is challenging enough without the added stress of a contentious divorce. Mediation provides a space to develop a co-parenting plan that works for both parties and, most importantly, for the kids. A skilled mediator guides you to establish schedules, outline responsibilities, and create a framework for effective communication moving forward. My goal is that you can attend your kids’ future functions without any weird energy. Your kids deserve that and you want that, too.

family looking at papers

Control Over the Outcome

The third most important benefit of divorce mediation is that you control the outcome of your divorce. In a courtroom, a judge makes decisions based on legal standards and precedents, which may not align with your personal needs or those of your children. Mediation, however, allows you to craft a tailored agreement that reflects your unique situation. You know your family best, so why leave such critical decisions in the hands of someone else?

Less Stressful for Everyone

A tangential, but very real, benefit to divorce mediation is that your divorce will be less stressful. Divorce mediation fosters a cooperative environment for negotiation, where litigation is adversarial and pits both sides against each other. Divorce mediation is less about “winning” and more about finding solutions that work for everyone involved.


A mediated divorce is much faster than a litigated divorce. Typically, a mediated divorce takes about 4-5 months from beginning to end; where a litigated divorce takes, on average, between 12-18 months! 

Choosing the Right Mediator: Not All Are Created Equal

Here’s where things can get tricky. Not all divorce mediators are created equal, and this choice can make or break your mediation experience. In Oregon, there’s no licensing requirement to call oneself a mediator. 

This means anyone – even my teenage son – can call themselves a divorce mediator.

A attorney-mediator brings the best of both worlds: legal knowledge and mediation prowess. They can draft the essential legal documents, guide you through complex legal issues, and ensure that all agreements comply with state laws, and file your matter at court for you. 

In Oregon, if you choose divorce mediation through an attorney-mediator, you never have to set a foot in court. The attorney-mediator handles everything for you.

Using a non-attorney mediator for your divorce is like playing Russian Roulette. Non-attorney mediators haven’t been taught how to draft an enforceable contract. Most non-attorney mediators don’t know that some assets need to be treated differently than other assets. They also don’t know which retirement plans need specific language to award the retirement account to you without your spouse getting an unintended piece of it. They don’t know how to protect you from your spouse’s debts. In short, they don’t know what they don’t know, which leaves you in the dark. And, if that wasn’t enough, they can’t file your divorce for you at court – talk about a headache!

attorney Julie Gentili Armbrust - divorce mediation lawyer - eugene oregon

Meet Julie Gentili: The Drama-Free Mediator

When it comes to selecting the right divorce mediator, experience and expertise matter. Julie Gentili, the principal divorce mediator at Mediation Northwest, has over 24 years of experience as an attorney, Julie mediates divorces without drama, ensuring a smooth and effective process. Her extensive legal background, combined with her specialized mediation training, makes her uniquely qualified to guide you through this challenging time.

Julie’s approach focuses on fairness and efficiency, helping couples reach agreements that are equitable and sustainable. Her commitment to putting children first and her ability to handle complex legal issues with ease have made her a trusted name in divorce mediation. With Julie Gentili at the helm, you can rest assured that your divorce process will be handled with the utmost professionalism and care.

When Mediation Might Not Be Right for You

As fantastic as the benefits of divorce mediation are, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Mediation requires a level of cooperation and mutual decision-making that isn’t always possible in every divorce. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is irrational, untrustworthy, or unable to make decisions, mediation is a giant waste of your valuable time and money.

Real Talk: Why Mediation Rocks

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. Beyond the obvious financial and emotional benefits, mediation rocks because it empowers you. It’s your life, your divorce, and your future. Mediation puts the power back in your hands, allowing you to shape the terms of your divorce in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

The Bottom Line

The benefits of divorce mediation are clear: it’s cost-effective, it gives you control, puts your kids first, reduces stress, and it is fairly quick. But remember, the success of mediation hinges on choosing the right mediator – preferably an attorney-mediator with the proper training and experience.

Life’s too short for avoidable drama. With Julie Gentili and Mediation Northwest, you can navigate your divorce without the chaos and conflict, emerging stronger and ready for whatever comes next. 

Skip to content