Posted by Attorney Bruce Watson –
Divorce litigation is something that people usually try to avoid, as it is generally an expensive, unpredictable, and emotionally draining process. Although litigation makes sense in some divorces, most legal experts recommend avoiding it whenever possible. One viable alternative of litigation is mediation, and in legal circles it has the reputation of being a much more pleasant experience for both parties involved.
Granted, mediation is not the stress-free experience that some sources would lead you to believe. However, the common wisdom that mediation is better than litigation is almost always true. Here are five advantages of mediation:
1) Mediation generally takes anywhere from three to six months, as opposed to litigation, which takes between one and two years.
2) In mediation, all the financial information regarding the marriage is confidential. However, all financial data regarding the marriage is a matter of public record during and after litigation, although many courts limit access to the parties’ financial forms..
3) There is generally one court appearance when using mediation. Conversely, litigation almost always requires several court appearances.
4) According to the Huffington Post, “Mediation can cost anywhere from 300.00 to 5,000.00 dollars, while litigation usually runs from 15,000.00 to 35,000.00 dollars.” These numbers are not absolute and costs for mediation, particularly protracted mediation, can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, mediation, on average, is statistically proven to be a more cost-effective solution than litigation.
5) Divorce experts agree that mediation is better for the children. In mediation, the parents work together to find custodial solutions that are best for the children.
In summary, it is safe to say that litigation has its uses but it is generally not optimal, particularly if the parties are even somewhat amicable. If you are wondering whether or not mediation is right for you, contact us and we will assist you.