Like it or not, the divorce process falls under the umbrella of litigation. And, in any litigation, there are three critical components that drive both the dispute and the resolution which are as follows:
- What you think you can get in court.
- How much it’ll cost you to try to get it.
- And, how you feel about the end result.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a way to resolve your disputes outside of court. Mediation provides divorcing parties the opportunity to reduce the stressful impact of a divorce, retain control of their lives, and reduce their legal costs.
Why is mediation so important in cases where parties need to divide property or determine a residential schedule for their children?
Generally, mediation is a wonderful way for divorcing and separating couples to explore creative solutions – that oftentimes are just not available in court. Courts are limited in the solutions they can impose, particularly when it comes to property division. For divorcing parents, mediation is extra important because the parties are going to have an ongoing relationship with one another and need a new starting point from which to build. Mediation provides divorcing couples the opportunity to honor any shared values that they may have, but that the court would not consider.
What can I gain from mediation?
- You can save money. Mediation is generally less expensive than litigation and committing to a mediated process can drastically decrease your attorneys fees.
- You can save time. Courts do not have the luxury of moving very quickly which means that the certainty provided by resolution may be delayed for many months, even a year. Going to court usually means losing a day or morning of work, paying for parking, and paying your lawyer. Mediation, on the other hand, can happen in one session or in a few consecutive sessions. Some mediators will even do sessions by phone or Skype.
- Unlike litigation, the process is voluntary and informal. The progress of resolution goes at your pace, not the court’s pace. Resolving your case quickly can help decrease your stress and improve your sense of well-being.
- Most importantly, mediation can open doors and offers the opportunity to explore creative ways to resolve your case.
What should I consider when choosing a mediator?
A good mediator will bring their litigation experience to the table, and will offer creative solutions and strategies for moving forward with your separation even if there are elements of decoupling that still need to be unraveled.
Choose a mediator with experience in the courtroom. It can be especially useful to work with a mediator who has served as a judicial officer. Most of all, choose a mediator whom you both like and whose communication style is easy for you to understand.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with DuBois Cary partner Monica Cary to discuss mediation and other divorce options, please call (206) 547-1486.