Mediation is a dispute-resolution process where an impartial third party —a mediator— helps the parties and their attorneys to talk about the case and creatively look for solutions to resolve the conflict.
Some reasons why mediation is so useful:
1. Mediation limits the Issues for Trial
You might be tempted to dismiss mediation if you don’t believe that you and your spouse will be able to come to an agreement, even with a mediator’s help.
But mediation can still be worthwhile, even if mediation does not resolve every single issue in the divorce.
Trial is the most expensive part of a divorce, so if issues such as division of assets can be resolved at mediation, the trial can be reduced in scope to address just those issues that couldn’t be resolved at mediation.
If an hour of mediation can resolve the property division issues, this will likely save thousands of dollars in trial prep and courtroom costs, even if the custody issues can only be resolved at trial.
2. Control Over Results
Unlike an arbitrator (who issues a binding ruling), a mediator only creates a binding decision if all parties are in agreement. Since there is never any guarantee that a judge or jury will decide your divorce fairly if the matter is left entirely in their hands, mediation is an opportunity to settle your divorce on your own terms.
3. Controlled Setting
Mediation takes place in a controlled environment. Only the parties and their attorneys generally participate, but exceptions can be made to allow for the temporary participation of witnesses or other persons who may be useful in reaching a resolution.
A controlled environment reduces conflict and is most often much less stressful and less unpredictable than a Trial.
You can never be sure what to expect in court, and the scheduling of a court hearing is usually beyond your control.
Mediation can be done based on your schedule and often even scheduled on weekends or after hours.
4. Faster Resolution
Mediation saves time from the back and forth settlement conferences between the attorneys.
Saving time in litigation saves you money and can speed up the time you spend trying to reach a resolution.
If children are involved, or you don’t have months to spend in stressful litigation, mediation is a solution you should definitely consider.
5. Less Expensive
Time is money in litigation. You pay your attorney for their time spent helping you resolve your case and the longer it takes to resolve your case the more expensive your legal case becomes.
Don’t be mistaken, you are going to spend money in litigation, but mediation is a useful tool to help you quickly reach a binding non-revocable resolution to conclude your case.
6. More Favorable Results for Both Parties
When you go into Mediation, you should expect to have to compromise.
Mediation can reduce conflict, but it is not guaranteed to completely eliminate it.
Mediation can help you get more favorable results than if you were to allow a judge to decide the outcome of your case.
In Mediation, you will have the opportunity to negotiate with the other party, and work towards a conclusion that gives both parties some of what they want.
Understanding in advance that compromise is a big part of mediation will make negotiation easier and help you get more favorable results!