#1 – save money. Many people hire a divorce mediator to save money. In a traditional litigation divorce process with two attorneys, each party typically spends five to ten thousand dollars – much more if there are contested issues and/or a trial. In contrast, a fully mediated settlement may incur two to three thousand dollars, total.
#2 – save time. Mediation resolves issues faster than litigation and trial. Court dates are often scheduled months out and once on the docket, court dates and trials are often continued for a multitude of reasons. Such delays can drag divorce cases out for months and even years. Scheduling divorce mediation is as simple as making a phone call, and it is possible that the issues will be resolved in just one day.
#3 – a chance to be heard. A divorce mediator will also listen to your concerns and understand the things that are most important to you. Throughout the legal process and in particular, at the end of a trial, many parties feel that they did not get to “tell their story” or that their concerns were not taken seriously. Unfortunately, some of the most important issues to you and/or your family may not be “legal issues” and as such may not garner the attention of attorneys or the court. During mediation, you will have the opportunity to tell your entire story and address all of your concerns before creating your settlement.
#4 – privacy. Mediation is a confidential process which means your mediator does not share with court or anyone else the details of your negotiations. In contrast, family court hearings, are open to the public and motions and affidavits become part of the public record meaning that the details of your marriage will become part of the public record. Mediation provides a private forum in which to discuss and reach agreements. Greatly limiting the amount of private information available to strangers.
#5 – controlled outcomes. In mediation, the parties reach agreements and therefore control their own outcomes. Unlike a judge, a divorce mediator is not a decision maker. After a trial or a hearing, parties are confused by and frustrated with the judge’s ruling. There’s an adage in family law that there are no winners in family court. When a judge is making decisions, you have no control of the outcomes and it is possible (even likely) that you will not like the outcomes. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse work together to craft agreements that best suit your individual needs and lifestyles. All settlements include concessions and even though you may not get everything you want in your settlement, there are no surprises at the end of mediation.