Divorce can be a harrowing process that can last for months or years and cost thousands of dollars. It can be emotionally taxing on both parties, and also have an adverse effect on your children. You may wish to consider mediation as an alternative for your separation.
One major advantage of mediation over court litigation is that your case will stay out of the eyes of a public courtroom and judge. Court litigation can make it hard to sort through potentially emotional and complex issues, be difficult for children, and be an invasion of your privacy.
Working with a mediator facilitates discussions and negotiations, allowing settlement of your separation with as little noise as possible. Everything is confidential and the space is safe, so you know that you can focus on the issues at hand. And if a child is involved, mediation is excellent training in building a working relationship with your ex-spouse.
While you and your ex-spouse may think you agree on everything, there may be long-term issues you may not have considered, such as retirement, taxes, and college education for your kids. Having a mediator involved in the process as a third-party ensured that all necessary issues are addressed and that each party is heard and addressed equally.
If there is any conflict, the mediator is there to ensure the lines of communication stay open, offer alternative solutions, and keep the discussions on track.
When you and your ex-spouse enter a mediation setting, you’re both much more likely to be open to negotiations. Although there can be attorneys present, they often aren’t, and your mediator cannot provide either of you legal advice. Mediation usually requires multiple sessions, each running about 2-4 hours in length. But it still typically cost thousands of dollars less than a litigated divorce.
While you and your ex-spouse may still decide to hire and consult private attorneys, mediation sessions can still reduce the cost significantly, and you can easily divide each bill in half.
Mediations are also much more likely to lead to a settlement that leaves both parties at least somewhat satisfied with the outcome, whereas a litigated divorce sometimes ends up being a lose/lose situation for both parties.
Mediations are typically much quicker in resolving divorces than traditional litigation. A divorce involving litigation can take years, whereas a mediation can reduce that time to a handful of weeks or months.
You don’t have to face months of court sessions and air your personal grievances in front of a judge—you have options, with mediation being one of them.
If you want to know more about whether to take your divorce to court or use mediation, contact our seasoned family law attorneys at Norman Dowler LLP. Since 1958, we have helped thousands of clients with their legal matters, providing legal representation tailored to Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties.
Thomas J. Hutchinson
Norman Dowler, LLP
840 County Square Drive, Third Floor
Ventura, CA 93003