I would much rather serve as a mediator or collaborative attorney than as a litigation attorney. A mediation will usually save both parties thousands of dollars in legal fees, in addition to preventing even further deterioration of the relationship between the parties. I believe that this is even more important when children are involved since parents who litigate usually find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate after the litigation.
Mediation is voluntary. Both parties must agree and either party can withdraw from mediation at any time. Mediation is flexible and confidential. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict between you, and reach decisions, in a way that helps you to work together as parents after your divorce.
The mediator remains neutral between the husband and the wife. That means the mediator can’t give advice to either party, and also can’t act as a lawyer for either party. The mediator can give general advice to both parties, guidance and an understanding of the legal process. The mediator will point out in open session to both parties things that each of them should be aware of about the law on the particular issue that they’re trying to negotiate. As an active practicing family law attorney, I am able to engage in “reality testing” to enhance the mediation process. This allows both parties to get an idea of what may happen if the case is decided by a judge, giving you a better idea of whether a mediated resolution which may be “on the table” is worth considering.
The mediator points out, in open session to both spouses, things that each of them should be aware of about what they’re trying to accomplish. That open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.
From all the research, couples who have mediated their divorce are happier with the outcome than couples who go through an adversarial divorce. Mediation is faster, costs less money, and the parties are less likely to go back to court later to fight about something. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict between you, in a way that helps you to work together as parents after your divorce.
The main advantage of mediation is that it keeps you and your spouse in control of your own divorce. That usually makes a big difference in your recovering from your divorce and moving on with your life. Mediation allows the two of you to get through your divorce with less conflict than you would experience in an adversarial divorce. This not only saves money but saves on the emotional stress and pain that is caused by litigation.