Mediation – Is it Worth It?

Mediation in a divorce setting involves the meeting of a divorced couple, where issues are discussed with the help of a neutral third party, known as the mediator. Some of these issues that are discussed include child support, taxes, the distribution of assets and liabilities, child custody and parent time, and retirement. Because these topics can be sometimes difficult subjects to discuss, the mediator will intervene in order to assist the couple in coming to a decision.  It is important to note that the setting of the mediation often involves the parties in separate rooms. This is a tried and true technique used by mediators to minimize the emotion often present in divorce. It is the mediator’s responsibility to be fair and equitable to all parties involved. Attorneys on each side can be hired to represent the client when dealing with mediation.

When going through a divorce, mediation is viewed as a type of alternative dispute resolution that has many benefits over, for example, civil litigation. Mediation tends to be a quicker process than civil litigation. Civil litigation can take months or years to make it to trial. With mediation, on the other hand, a settlement can be reached on the same day or two days. In addition, mediation is less costly than civil litigation. There are no court filing fees and related expenses with mediation. The mediator, many times, charges by the hour too. Furthermore, mediation is advantageous in the way that it is confidential and the public and media do not need to find out. This is especially a benefit for celebrities that may be going through a divorce that do not want his or her personal life to be released to the media. Next, prior to mediation, both parties are able to check the experience that the mediator has had in his or her career. This will assure the couple that the mediator is knowledgeable in the topics being mediated, and will be fair to both parties. There is also no jury in mediation. In civil litigation, the couple has no options in the choice of a judge and the selection of a jury. The mediation process provides much greater flexibility in structuring settlement solutions than would otherwise be available to a judge.

Choosing a mediator that has top qualities and is experienced is very significant when the divorced couple is planning for mediation. In mediation, there needs to be impartiality. A mediator does not make judgements but attempts to facilitate a resolution. A mediator must also be experienced in the law. Many mediators have been former attorneys and know the laws that will affect a divorce. In addition, a top mediator will put the parties’ children first. In many divorce cases, the couple will have children involved. The mediator has to know how to provide information that will impact the children, who may be going through a difficult time as their parents are getting a divorce. It is crucial that a mediator who has these qualities is chosen to be the mediator for the divorce. It will make the process easier for a couple that is already going through a challenging time in their life.

A mediation is not the easiest process for a couple who is undergoing the divorce process. Each party has to come to the mediation ready to negotiate, rather than argue. Each party needs to come ready knowing what he or she wants in order for it to work. It is also best for each party to get advice from his or her attorney, who knows the situation and is willing to give the best advice to his or her client.

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