IS MEDIATION RIGHT FOR ME?
Control of the Process:
In mediation, the participants are the ones who determine whether or not a resolution is reached and the terms of the final agreement. In other words, control is not placed in the hands of a judge; there is no risk that power will be taken out of your hands. The mediator will provide recommendations, devise solutions, and discuss potential trade-off’s for each side, but she will never make a judgment for the parties. If you and your spouse reach a mutually-agreeable decision, then you can choose to move forward in unison. If not, either party can choose to pursue traditional litigation as an alternative route. Obviously, divorce can be extremely stressful. Mediation can take the pressure off of the process and allow you to feel in command of your future.
The litigation process can seem endless. How quickly your divorce proceeds is dependent on how busy the court happens to be, and the Court is always busy. Your case may begin weeks or months after your initial complaint for divorce is filed, with a trial scheduled well into the future. A divorce that takes years to resolve prevents you from moving forward with your life. Mediation, on the other hand, is scheduled and resolved in a timely manner. The speed of a mediated divorce is in your control, as sessions are scheduled around your availability.
When working with a trained mediator, your sessions are entirely confidential and anything said during the proceedings kept private. If you have a reputation, career, or children that you wish to protect from certain information or simply wish to resolve issues privately between you and your spouse, mediation allows you to do so without the exposure of a litigated proceeding.
In the course of mediation, you and your spouse will develop skills to help you negotiate and resolve the problems that may arise well after your divorce is final. Co-parenting, in particular, can benefit when both parties are committed to discussing issues amicably for the best interest of their children. Avoiding or decreasing hostility can allow for a forward-moving relationship that best serves the interests of the family as a whole.
The traditional litigation route can be intimidating, as court rules of procedure and evidence, as well as the formality of the process, leave you feeling trapped in a maze with little ability to voice your concerns. Mediation provides you with a safe, open, informal environment in which to present your perspective and to advocate for yourself. Through mediation, you can ensure that you are heard throughout the process and that the issues that matter most to you are adequately addressed. Particularly in families, the dynamics of relationships become important. A mediator can ensure that neither party takes over the proceeding by asserting power over the other or silencing them. When devising appropriate solutions for parenting, reaching agreement about finances, or dividing prized assets, the ability of each person to speak, to be heard, and to participate in the process is invaluable.