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Consider using mediation over traditional litigation to resolve your differences in a divorce. Mediation gives you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse the opportunity to find middle ground in ways that are not possible with litigation. Mediation is a voluntary, non-binding alternative with many advantages, including the following:
1. Mediation is quicker.
In this day and age, it could take over a year to get a court date, and several if your case is appealed. The fun doesn’t end there! Lawsuits take months to years to conclude. Mediation is an alternative method that typically only takes days or weeks. A rapid, reasonable timeline allows both parties to get on with their lives more quickly.
Mediated agreements tend to hold up over time. If disputes arise down the line, parties are more likely to use a cooperative approach than pursue an adversarial forum. Who knows how long getting into court — and all that it entails — could take.
2. Mediation is less expensive.
What many find most appealing about mediation is that it is almost always less expensive than the average lawsuit. It costs far less to hire a professional mediator than an attorney, not to mention the cost-efficiency of a speedy turnaround. Some organizations offer mediation services for certain types of disputes at a minimal rate.
3. Mediation increases the chances of mutual satisfaction and compliance.
Parties leave mediation satisfied with agreed-upon resolutions. An amicable solution is far better than any solution imposed by a third party decision-maker. Civil litigation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution rarely make everyone happy.
Mediation leaves parties with workable, customized agreements. Both parties can tailor their settlement to their situation and attend to the details of implementation. Mediation settlements can address extra-legal issues like procedural and psychological elements that cannot necessarily be determined through litigation. A mutual, narrowly tailored agreement increases the chances that parties will comply with its terms.
4. Mediation gives you more control.
Unlike in a lawsuit, parties in mediation have a greater say in negotiations and greater control over the outcome. The details of a mediated agreement are more easily predicted than if your case were arbitrated. Negotiating your own settlement will give you more power. Your fate is in your own hands rather than those of your lawyer. Mediation negotiations are an opportunity to exercise personal power and control.
Mediation allows parties to be more engaged than in a procedure-driven courtroom setting. A mediator deals directly with the parties so can focus his/her attention on your particular interests and needs, no matter how small.
Mediation can preserve ongoing relationships, or terminate relationships in an amicable way. Trading the adversarial process of litigation for the collaborative method of mediation can save important relationships. A mediated settlement addresses all parties’ interests and can result in a long-working relationship with your ex-partner.
Not only will you remain on speaking terms with your ex-spouse, but you will also avoid the possibility of destroying other personal and professional relationships through messy litigation.