Mediation is very popular as a method for settling divorce cases rather than going to trial and it has many proponents. But why should you attempt mediation rather than go forward at trial?
- Some courts require mediation
- You retain control over the outcome
- Less costly than litigation
- Privacy concerns
Mediation is so successful that many family law courts make mediation a requisite before parties may proceed at trial. So while you may believe your case needs to go before a judge at trial, chances are good that you will be required to mediate your case at some point during the divorce process.
Should you go to trial, the end result is entirely in the hands of one person sitting on the bench or twelve people sitting in the jury box. These are people that don’t know you, don’t know the facts and must make a judgment call about the lives of two strangers based on what is presented in possibly a two hour trial. Mediation is a collaborative process where both parties come to an agreement about all the issues, whether it’s property division or child custody issues. Mediation is about compromise
Litigation is very costly. You’re going to have to take off work; you’re going to incur attorney’s fees for the court appearance itself as well as for prepping for your trial and your trial may last for days. Mediation can finalize all issues in one day.
Divorce proceedings, including the record of testimony presented during the trial, are public record. That means that every bit of dirty laundry aired about you or your spouse during trial is available for public consumption. What is said in mediation is confidential; only the parties, their attorneys and the mediator will know what was said.
Courts are burdened with huge case loads and judges can only hear so many cases a day. You may be scheduled for trial on a certain date but there is no guarantee you will actually be heard that day. Mediation allows for all the parties to agree on a date that fits their schedule and is not dictated by a busy court’s schedule.
For the reasons stated above, mediation is an invaluable tool in a divorce and parties should be open-minded to the process. If you are going through a divorce or are interested in learning more about the mediation process, please contact the Ramos Law Firm.