Robyn D. Weisman, Esq. Posted on May 22, 2015
There is no question that ending a marriage is difficult. What happens to your children, if there are children, is probably at the top of your list of concerns. Just as you made choices in deciding to end your relationship you are now faced with a whole set of choices about your children, your retirement, your “things” and your pets.
Life is about choices. Each party must make choices about how to respond. With all of these choices and decisions, the last thing you need is to throw thousands of dollars into attorney fees for a divorce where these decisions may be made by you with the help of a mediator.
Mediation v. Litigation Litigation is the standard response when discussing divorce but the cost, delay, and distraction of full-blown litigation make other alternatives worth examining seriously in in your decision to divorce. As an attorney who used to litigate divorce and as a consultant mediator in Family Court, I have seen myriads of cases where families are torn apart or couples are spending their hard-earned money on months and sometimes years of court appearances and litigation on issues they really don’t even care about. On occasion the principles at stake are so important that litigation is worth the risk and burden. Litigation may be the only option if one party is not amenable to a more reasonable method of resolving the conflict. But in most cases it is preferable to avoid litigation and seek mediation to resolve your conflicts.
The benefits of mediation are most dramatic when compared to long drawn out process of litigation.
• Divorce mediation helps preserve a relationship with your spouse and reduces the tension for the sake of your children. If there are children, remember you are parents forever.
• Typically, you will be more satisfied by having arrived at your own “solutions” to the problems as opposed to having a judge make the decisions for you.
• Mediation is significantly less expensive than a litigated divorce.
• If the case goes to court, the cost may be three to five times as high — or more.
• Mediated divorce cases typically take considerably less time than a litigated divorce- typically months maybe even years shorter.
• Clients are given the control to determine the schedule instead of relying on a schedule chosen by the attorneys and the very back-logged court system. This makes divorce mediation much faster than family litigation because the case doesn’t rely on the court’s schedule.
• Creative problem solving instead of settling for the “norm”. Whereas in Court time constraints don’t allow for the time needed to arrive at creative or “different” solutions to meet the needs of each family, mediation allows for parties to arrive at what works for them and test agreements to see how they work. Parties can then make changes after seeing how these agreements work in practice. You make the decisions you can live with.
• Divorce mediation is confidential and private. Clients discuss the important issues in the privacy and comfort of the mediator’s office. Don’t pay a fortune to make decisions in crowded courthouse hallway, the Courtroom or less desirable location. Don’t pay a fortune to have decisions be forced upon you when you can and will make your own decisions in mediation.
• Clients always have the choice to litigate if mediation is unsuccessful. At least you didn’t start by empting your bank account to begin the process. It’s much more difficult to mediate after litigation has flared up emotional conflict and made it harder for spouses to communicate and trust each other.
Consider all of these factors when you’re deciding between litigation and mediation. Call your mediator now to find out more.
Contact Divorce Mediation & Family Services of New York for more information
Disclaimer: The information obtained at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.