Mediation has many advantages over litigation. It is usually less expensive than negotiating your agreement through two attorneys and it is far less expensive than going to trial. Mediation can also help you avoid the backlog in the courts, allowing for a more expedient resolution.
In addition to these practical concerns, though, Mediation offers something that the Courts do not offer: the chance to resolve your case on your terms. If you are unable to settle your case in Court a Judge, essentially a stranger who will only meet you for a very limited period of time, will make major decisions about your life. Mediation is your opportunity to make these decisions together. After all, who knows what is better for you than you do.
On a related not, Mediation is also an excellent forum for solving issues unique to divorce that our legal system cannot adequately address. As an example, many couples will litigate who will get custody of the family pets. While most judges are not interested in talking about this, a good mediator will be able to give an appropriate amount of attention to an issue that the parties may feel is important.
Finally, privacy is an important concern for many of our clients. Court is a public forum. Understandably, many people feel uncomfortable talking about the breakdown of their marriage to a judge in a courtroom full of strangers. Mediation takes place in a more private and comforting environment, where the parties can set their own pace to better accommodate their own emotional and practical needs.
There are also disadvantages to mediation, though. For example, when there is a history of abuse between the parties, mediation often fails because the parties cannot reach the necessary level of trust to mediate their dispute amicably. Furthermore, there are no guarantees that mediation will result in an agreement, which could end up costing you more in the long run. You should honestly evaluate whether you and your spouse are willing to participate in an open process before entering into mediation
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