Why Promote Mediation over Litigation?

In family mediation, you, the divorcing couple, work with a neutral mediator who helps you come to an agreement on all aspects of your divorce. The mediator may or may not be a lawyer, but either way the mediator should be extremely well versed in divorce and family law. It is critical for the mediator to be neutral. You and your former spouse still may need to consult with your own, individual lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing any divorce or settlement agreements.

Why should you mediate instead of going to court?

    1. Preserve Your Relationships: It is far easier on your children since mediation proceedings are less hostile and stressful than court proceedings. Opting to side step the courts and aggressive pre-trial posturing helps secure better long-term relationships with your ex-spouse and his/her relatives. The court system with its adversarial framework is destructive to families and has little ability to deal with the intense emotion of family law cases.
    2. Less Delay: Agreements are often reached much sooner than through the court system. Litigating a family law case usually involves multiple interim applications, each one handled by a different judge, who only hears the case after you and your former spouse have exchanged lengthily affidavits and written submissions.
    3. Convenience: Mediation can take place at a location convenient to both of you and outside normal business hours. Courthouses are intimidating places and are only open during the weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
    4. Less Cost: Mediating a divorce is far less expensive than proceeding through the court system. The court system usually involves multiple court hearings with both of you paying court fees and staggering legal and accounting fees.
    5. Both of You Make the Decisions: You stay in control of your divorce because you and your former spouse make the decisions and not the court. If you proceed with the court system, each court application will likely be heard by a different judge who must be educated with respect to the facts, the same facts that have been laboriously recited on previous occasions, and the judge may not even be well-versed in family law.
    6. Privacy and Dignity: Mediation is conducted in a private setting and the conversations are confidential and cannot be repeated or used in court. Courtrooms are open to the public and all decisions of the court are published online. Using the court system means that the media, your friends and business associates can be privy to all the emotional and financial details of your divorce.

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