Mediation is a fantastic way to resolve disputes in the Family Court, particularly with the help of a trained lawyer-mediator, who knows the law and is trained in family mediation.
Why should you use Mediation in divorce?
Sitting down with a neutral lawyer-mediator who helps you and your spouse to identify shared interests and potential solutions to meet those interests is appealing to many spouses who go through divorce. But the process is not for everybody. Like other divorce options, there are Pros and Cons to using mediation to resolve your divorce.
What are the PROS to using Mediation in divorce?
Mediation is cost-effective.
While most mediators charge at least $200.00 per hour for their time and mediating an entire divorce case from start to finish may require several meetings with the mediator, it is often a much cheaper alternative to traditional litigation.
Mediation encourages creativity.
Traditional litigation is usually a “one-size-fits-all” approach, with a limited set of solutions available for the judge to use, which may or may not work for your situation. But mediation allows you and your spouse to work together to develop creative options that are best for your family, and these options are not necessarily outcomes that a judge could – or would – order if the case was decided in the courts.
Mediation promotes certainty.
Mediation promotes certainty. Once you reach a mediated agreement with your spouse, the lawyer-mediator drafts the documents (e.g., the Marital Settlement Agreement) that must be filed with the court. Assuming the documents are drafted correctly by the lawyer-mediator, the judge will approve them and you can be certain that what you and your spouse will get your preferred outcome from the court.
What are the CONS to using Mediation in divorce?
A respectful attitude is required by both spouses (but it’s not always easy).
Mediation requires both spouses to be respectful to one another. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. You and your spouse are not going to make much progress talking over one another. Successful mediation requires spouses to treat one another with respect, compassion, and empathy. If you cannot see things from your spouse’s perspective, it will be difficult to make much progress in mediation.
Both spouses need to agree on a set of facts.
A lawyer-mediator is not a fact-finder and is not responsible for determining “who is telling the truth.” It is important for divorcing couples to agree on a set of facts and circumstances (for example, “what is included in the marital estate?”) in order for mediation to have the possibility of success. However, if you and your spouse disagree on a fundamental fact that must be resolved first before determining anything else (for example, “Is your home safe for our child?”), the lawyer-mediator is not the one who can decide.
Compromise is required.
Mediation requires compromise from both parties. If either you or your spouse are not willing to consider option other than your own, then mediation will not be successful.