Mediation is one of the least recognized methods of resolving divorce matters but is extremely efficient and cost effective. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) held in an informal setting, where the divorcing parties can resolve their differences without the stress or cost of a formal court proceeding. And for many people, mediation can help avoid the difficulties inherent in the court system.
In a mediation, the parties (in this case, the divorcing couple) meet with a mediator, who acts as an impartial third party to help both sides come to a consensus on the issues they need to resolve. This means coming to a settlement on things like division of marital property, spousal maintenance, child support, custody and visitation rights, and so on.
One advantage of mediation is that mediation is not governed by formal rules and are generally considered less stressful than the high-stakes arena of a court battle. Mediations are also non-binding (unless a final agreement is reached), so even if you ultimately can’t come to an agreement or realize later you are not comfortable with the mediation process, you can always decide to litigate in court and seek relief from a judge. Finally, a mediation gives you an opportunity to discuss the emotional, as well as practical, issues behind your divorce, which you may not be able to do in other venues. Allowing parties to tailor their settlement to their family, rather than being forced to abide by an order issued by a judge who does not know you or your children, if any, and your specific needs and wants.
Although mediation may not be appropriate in situations where one party will not budge from an unreasonable position, or where a party feels so intimidated by their spouse that they do not feel free to express their position or opinions, for most people, mediation can provide a relaxed means for resolving all issues in a divorce action with an agreement specifically designed for your family, while saving extensive time and legal fees.
When you choose to seek mediation, it helps to have an experienced divorce attorney to act as your mediator. If you have questions about whether mediation is appropriate for you and your family, contact Heather A. Fig, Attorney at Law, PLLC. Heather Fig is an experienced litigation attorney in the area of family and divorce as well as a mediator for over 15 years. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 631-419-6111 or fill out our contact form.