Mediation is a process of resolving conflicts in a mutually acceptable way. It involves seeking the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. However, the decision-making stays completely in the hands of the divorcing couple, and the mediator just assists them in figuring out their needs and how they can reach an agreement that’s best for them and their children.
Unlike an adversarial proceeding, where the scope of discussion of the parties involved is very limited, mediation allows them to keep matters in their own hands while working on them together to make sure the needs of everyone involved are taken care of.
While mediation is actually considered to be a way of solving all types of conflicts, it’s believed to be particularly useful when it comes to divorce cases or family issues.
Some of the major benefits mediation offers to a divorcing couple, especially in contrast to the typical adversarial proceedings are being mentioned below.
One of the most important benefits of going for mediation over the typical court settlements is that the former costs significantly less. You simply pay (jointly with your spouse) for the services for a professional who is dedicated to help you both reach a solution that’s best for you and your children.
On the other hand, if you choose to go for a court settlement, what you will typically be paying for is the waiting time at the court, drafting lots of legal papers that hardly take you anywhere near to the solution you would want to reach, as well as those court appearances with hefty fees.
It’s quite a known fact that legal court battles have led to the financial destruction of many divorcing couples – sometimes to such an extent that most of the assets that they were fighting for ending up sold to pay off the legal expenses.
In fact, when it comes to certain areas such as Santa Clara, San Jose and the Bay Area, hiring a lawyer may well cost up to $500 an hour, not to mention that unlike while going for mediation, both you and your spouse will have to hire a separate lawyer.
Of course, you would always want to pay for your child’s education than your lawyers’ child!
The Outcome is in Your Hands
This is another extremely crucial benefit of mediation. The outcome of the settlement is going to be in your hands, and you would have a final say over the terms of the agreement instead of the court.
In fact, what topics are to be covered in the discussion is also something that will be left to you and your spouse. And so is the discussion and agreement about your children’s custody and the other important things related to their future, which surely isn’t something you would want to leave to strangers.
More Personal Attention
When going for mediation, you work directly with the mediator, and have the opportunity to speak and be heard. The mediator will help you take better decisions by refining the decision-making process, help you and your spouse negotiate better, discuss topics that really matter and stay focused on them, as well as generate better options if need be.
In contrast, the judges hardly hear you out about the things you really care about and offer the required help you need to take better decisions. They are simply required to speak to the lawyers much more than you and your spouse, who are actually the parties involved.
In fact, most judges are so overworked that they hardly have the opportunity to go deeper into your case and try figuring out your and your children’s needs.
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