Mediation involves people coming together to compromise and find solutions to their disagreements. You and everyone you know has been in the role of mediator at one point or another. If you have ever helped to settle a conflict between family or friends, you have been a mediator.
Formal mediation services have become more and more popular over the years as people have looked for ways to solve conflicts peacefully. When you hire a mediator and attend a mediation session, you will be negotiating with the assistance of a neutral party – the mediator.
Advantages of Mediation
A contested divorce in court can cost between $15,000 – $50,000 while mediation is a small fraction of this cost.
Typically going through the process of mediation is less stressful since it is less formal, both parties have much more control over the process and outcome, and participants feel that their concerns are heard and validated.
Going to court can take weeks of preparation and then more time spent actually being in court. You still need to be prepared for mediation, but the actual process of mediation typically takes only a few hours to a few days.
This is important, particularly if the parties have young children and will have to maintain a co-parenting relationship. Often going through mediation can lead to a more civil co-parenting relationship.
Even if only partial resolution or no resolution is reached in mediation, the parties have still made significant progress in discussing and clarifying the issues.
Better for the children
Research has shown that children benefit when their parents use mediation for settling their divorce. A study by Emery, et al. in 2001 that surveyed custodial parents found that 12 years after divorce:
Mediation – 26% of non-custodial parents still saw their child at lease once a week and remained more involved in their child’s life.
Litigation – 9% of non-custodial parents saw their child at lease once a week.
In mediation, the parties have 100% control over outcome, versus having 0% control over the outcome during litigation where a judge or jury gets to make the decisions.
In mediation, the parties tend to be more satisfied with the outcomes they reach than when they go to court.