Five Benefits of Family Law Mediation
1. Cost: Litigation is expensive. Mediation at our office are usually done on a flat-fee basis. This means each party knows exactly what they will be paying and there are no surprises at the end of the case. The flat fee includes a set number of sessions with the attorney-mediator and the preparation and filing of all necessary paperwork. As long as all issues are resolved, the parties never have to set foot in court.
2. Control Over the Process: While you still have to file the necessary paperwork with the court, in a mediation you are not at the mercy of the court’s schedule. The parties control the process. This means that the parties can move as fast or as slow as they wish. The parties also control the rules of discovery, the use of experts and outside resources. For instance, in a case involving difficult or unique custody issues, the parties may want to work with a parenting plan coordinator. In cases where a business may need to be valued, the parties may want to consult with a joint forensic accountant. The mediation process is organic and flexible enough to meet the needs of the parties.
3. Control Over the Outcome: In litigation the judge makes the final decision. In mediation the mediator guides the parties towards a final decision. For instance, when working with a couple on the issue of visitation, I may give them examples of different parenting plans and help them reach a plan that is in the best interest of the child. I cannot force the end result. The end result is one that the couple fashions themselves.
4. Higher Rate of Compliance: In a mediation both parties are heard and acknowledged. Both parties will have the opportunity to share their feelings and concerns. After everything that needs to be said is said, the resolution reached will be one that both parties had a hand in fashioning. This does not mean that they will both be happy with the end result; it means that they are more likely to act in compliance.
5. Preservation of Relationship: Perhaps the biggest benefit of mediation is that the parties protect their relationship. Going to court tears people apart and can cause great pain to both sides. Mediation gives the parties an opportunity to talk to each other and share their concerns. The process paves the way to healthier relationships.
If you have any questions regarding your mediation options, please do not hesitate to call us. We will be glad to explore options with you. Please call us to set up a complimentary consultation at (949) 823-1027.