“The decisions that shape your life should not be left to a court or judge. They should be made by you.”
Mediation is an attempt by a non-biased third party, called a mediator, to bring about an agreement on contested issues. Many people, when faced with the prospect of an impending divorce, think first and foremost of going to trial. The thought of appearing before a judge however, is for many a terrifying ordeal which only adds trauma to an already stressful situation. Why go through this horrific stressful ordeal, pain and the humiliation of airing your dirty laundry in public, while spending outrageous attorney fees?
Mediation can be a comforting substitute for the anxiety and overwhelm of the courthouse. The daunting courtroom is, in mediation, replaced by a more serene environment, thus helping to put your client’s mind at ease.
The Role of the Mediator
As a mediator I cannot and will not make decisions, rather I will assist both parties in reaching an agreement that is to their mutual satisfaction. Unlike judges, mediators often create unique agreements that deviate from the norm because the agreements are tailor made by the couple to fit their circumstances and desires. The mediator differs from the arbitrator in that the mediator can, and in fact is expected to, meet individually with each side. Hearing what each side truly wants out of the process makes the job as a mediator much simpler, and best of all everyone benefits.
Mediation Has Positive Effects on Children
The client’s choice to mediate a conflict often has many beneficial effects on any children who may be involved. Mediation is generally less stressful than litigation, allowing for a more peaceful home during the conflict. In addition, children benefit from seeing their parents cooperating, even when they disagree with each other. The cooperation of the parents often leads to more joint custodies being awarded in mediation, benefiting the children with a continued future with both parents. Like many other issues in mediation, parties generally retain more control over their children’s interest and needs than they would if they chose litigation.
Mediation is Cost-Effective
For many clients, the best reason for choosing mediation will be the cost. Mediation will almost always be less expensive than litigation. While both mediation and litigation can involve experts, such as accountants and real estate appraisers, there is only one mediator; as opposed to two attorneys or more were the parties to appear in court. Remember that mediation is concerned with both parties working together, and doing so can dramatically decrease the billable time owed. The cost of divorce mediation is generally 40% – 60% lower than divorce litigation.