1. The Role of the Mediator
A mediator is not an Attorney. She does not make any decisions. Her primary goal is to assist both parties in reaching an agreement that is to their mutual satisfaction. Unlike attorneys, mediators often create unique agreements that deviate from the norm because the agreements are tailor made by the couple to fit their circumstances and desires. The mediator differs from the arbitrator in that the mediator can, and in fact is expected to, meet individually with each side. Hearing what each side truly wants out of the process makes the mediator’s job that much simpler, and everyone benefits. The mediator also stands in contrast to attorneys because, unlike attorneys, who are taking an adversarial, competitive approach for their clients, the mediator’s job is to help both parties reach a suitable conclusion.
Mediation Has Positive Effects on Children
The client’s choice to mediate a conflict often has many beneficial effects on any children who may be involved. Mediation is generally less stressful than litigation, allowing for a more peaceful home during the conflict. In addition, children benefit from seeing their parents cooperating, even when they disagree with each other. The cooperation of the parents often leads to more joint custodies being awarded in mediation, benefiting the children with a continued future with both parents. Like many other issues in mediation, parties generally retain more control over their children’s interest and needs than they would if they chose litigation.
2. Mediation is Cost-Effective
For many clients, the best reason for choosing mediation will be the cost. Mediation will almost always be less expensive than litigation. While both mediation and litigation can involve experts, such as accountants and real estate appraisers, there is only one mediator; as opposed to two attorneys or more were the parties to appear in court. Remember that mediation is concerned with both parties working together, and doing so can dramatically decrease the billable time owed. The cost of divorce mediation is generally 40% – 60% lower than divorce litigation.
Many factors suggest that mediation can often be the smarter choice for both parties. Mediating a dispute has many benefits over litigating. Mediation is for the most part a healthier and less stressful course of action not only for the parties involved, but for family and friends as well. The suspense of a looming divorce is rarely a pleasant experience, and knowing that through mediation, the process is simplified and less trauma and painful.