Benefits of Mediation
COST – Mediation is less costly then litigation without sacrificing quality
A divorce, when adversarial, can be financially draining on most families. To litigate a divorce, you are paying for two attorneys with high hourly rates. In mediation, you hire one mediator, and together, you and your partner work through all topics relevant to your uncoupling. The costs will vary based on the complexity of your issues and needs, but is significantly less expensive than a contested or litigated divorce. Couples typically agree to share the cost of the mediation and the cost savings are significant.
TIME – Mediation is a convenient, flexible and efficient process
When you litigate your divorce, you are at the mercy of the court calendar, the two attorneys, and your partner. With mediation, it is just you, your partner, and the mediator. This means scheduling appointments is easier and more efficient. Mediation is significantly less time-consuming than litigating a divorce. It progresses at your pace and according to your schedule. A typical session is 2 hours in length. The process generally ranges from 5 to 10 sessions depending on the complexity of your circumstances and the number of topics that require resolution.
EMOTIONAL WELL BEING – Mediation emphasizes peacefulness, communication and empowerment
Mediation is oriented around the human component of a relationship. It looks at you, your partner, and your children; it considers the issues at hand, the emotional impact each choice has on your family, and how to make decisions that protect your relationship with your children. Mediation is about facilitating understanding, not agreement. It strives to reduce acrimony between you and your partner through better listening and communication. When working to resolve conflict, it is advantageous for both parties to hear each other’s point of view and concerns. It is empowering to know you have been heard. With the knowledge you procure through your mediation sessions, you and your partner will find optimal solutions, remain in control of your future, and ensure a fair agreement is reached.
PRIVACY –Mediation is confidential
Between the highly invasive process of discovery and the courtroom's public forum, the litigation process does not afford privacy to the parties. The end of your marriage is on full display to anyone sitting in the courtroom. On the other hand, mediation takes place in a private setting, either in an office or virtually, where you and your partner can work out your concerns and discuss the private details of your life without the prying eyes of strangers observing. No one knows what is being discussed besides you, your partner, and the mediator.
BETTER PARENTING – Mediation focuses on creative solutions for your family’s future
When a couple decides to part ways, the careful restructuring of your family is crucial. Mediation is considered the most child-focused of all divorce options. It helps parents create solutions that are best for their children first and foremost. It encourages collaboration between the parents as well as establishing a friendly and cooperative tone for communication. In the mediation process, your mediator will learn about your life, the life of your children, and your goals for the future. The insight gained allows your mediator to understand what is most important to both of you and will help the parties develop the best co-parenting plan as well as assist in formulating a schedule that is both accommodating and flexible to your family's unique needs.
INFORMED DECISIONS – Mediation is about you and your partner being knowledgeable and in control
Mediation is conducted with the mediator guiding the process by providing the parties with the knowledge required to make informed decisions and the ability to resolve their disputes. Intricate and complex issues can arise that require knowledge outside the normal bounds of marital law, and additional information could be necessary. Sometimes, with both parties' consent, it may be recommended that the parties consult with experts for more complex decisions, such as tax advisors, financial advisors, valuators, home appraisers, and child psychologists. Not every couple needs them, however, if you do, it is beneficial to utilize one neutral, unbiased expert to assist you and your partner with the advice necessary to reach a fair resolution. The goal is for you and your partner to leave the relationship believing you were treated fairly by one another, equally advised on best practices for handling your circumstances and with an agreement that was intelligently made and uniquely created together.
PRACTICAL AGREEMENTS - Mediation agreements are thorough, fair and unique
In mediation, you and your partner are free to make voluntary and un-coerced procedural and substantive decisions about how to shape your agreement. You both have complete control over your agreement's content, and therefore complying with the terms is much easier when it is fair and something you both designed together. Mediation will assure you get an agreement you can actually use as the foundation for your future because the contents are based on your situation and your family’s unique needs. Mediation sessions are also the time to consider, and plan for, life’s other challenges and responsibilities you and your partner will likely face in the future. For example, higher education, religious studies, how and when to introduce your children to a new significant other, how to care for the family pet, and anything else that is of importance to you. Addressing these issues presumptively will help smooth the transition as they become a reality.