A successful mediation can lead to less stress, more satisfying resolutions, and better relationships post-divorce than resolving your matter at trial.
Consider the following benefits of mediation:
Many divorcing couples confuse mediation for a final chance to patch things up. This is partly due to confusing legal wording, which sometimes refers to “resolutions”. The only type of resolutions intended by the mediation process is the dissolution of the marriage. This process creates a divorce settlement that is in everyone’s best interest.
A divorce is an adversarial procedure where the interests of one party are often in direct conflict with the interests of the other party. Lawyers assist with the divorce process by negotiating with the other party or attorney in an attempt to further their client’s interests. These negotiations often begin as informal discussions between the parties or attorneys. Family Law Mediation takes negotiations one step further. Mediation allows both parties the opportunity to address issues face to face with the assistance of a neutral third party. In a mediation everyone involved is focused on reaching a resolution for the particular case that is being mediated. The presence of both parties, their attorneys and a mediator can often provide voices of reason. A mediator helps the parties see through the emotional hurt and anger they are experiencing to obtain a reasonable and fair divorce settlement.
Divorce can get expensive. Divorce attorneys usually bill for their services on an hourly rate. As a result, the more time your attorney works on your case, the more you will pay in attorney’s fees. One of the more time consuming aspects of divorce and family law cases is the preparation and attendance at trial. Attorneys not only have to prepare to present their client’s case at trial, but they also have to prepare to defend the anticipated arguments of your spouse. This often includes review of voluminous case files, interviewing witnesses, preparation of exhibits among other tasks.
It is also common in divorce and family law matters to retain the services of an expert witness. For example, a forensic accountant may be used to testify about the value of assets in a high-asset divorce case. Another example is a when child psychologist is used to testify in a child custody case. These experts are also paid by the hour and can be expensive, particularly when they set aside large blocks of time to testify in court. A successful mediation allows the parties to avoid the legal costs associated with preparing and attending trial, including the cost of expert witnesses.
Less Stress, Especially for Kids
Mediation often reduces stress during and following a divorce. This benefit is especially true for couples who have children, and for the children themselves. After all, the alternative to settling a family law or divorce case is usually going to trial. When a case goes to trial, a judge or jury who has never met either side make decisions for the family. These decisions will have major consequences for everyone involved. At this point, you are no longer in direct control over the outcome of your case. Without question, this uncertainty increases the level of stress in an already emotional process. For this reason alone, mediation should be taken seriously by divorcing parents and parents involved in custody modification actions.
It is important to note that many of the Courts in the Metro-Atlanta Area require mediation in divorce and family law matters before allowing the case to proceed to trial.
For a complimentary, confidential consultation about family law mediation, call the Reeder Law Firm at (770) 475-2521 now.