and Out of Court Settlement
Benefits of Mediation and Out-of-Court Settlement
- It is likely to be faster and far cheaper than litigation. It can take years to bring a case to trial and a trial is enormously expensive.
- It is less confrontational than litigation. Settlement of custody issues will protect your children from the torment of watching their parents fight over them.
- You and your spouse are more likely to abide by a settlement because you both have shaped its terms. You and your spouse will probably experience less conflict after your divorce if you reach a settlement, rather than go through a trial. Remember that you will need to maintain a civil, if not cordial, relationship with your former spouse because you will be connected as parents and grandparents for the rest of your lives.
You may be able to achieve a settlement through direct negotiations with your spouse or by negotiations through your attorneys. Many couples find that they need additional help and turn to mediation as an alternative.
Ready to get started?
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Is Your Divorce a Candidate for Mediation?
Mediation may be a good option for you if:
- You and your spouse need professional help sorting out the details of your divorce.
- You want to keep your divorce civil and avoid the drama and stress that typically accompanies litigation.
- You don't want to live with the uncertainty and loss of control of letting a judge decide.
- You want to avoid the expense of court hearings and trials.
- You want to keep the details of your marriage and divorce private.
- You are interested in a creative settlement that a judge might not have the time or authority to impose.
- You want to spare your children the anguish of a custody battle in court.
What to Expect
The mediator's goal is to get you and your spouse to agree. He or she is certain to do some coaxing often aimed at the spouse who seems more pliable. Therefore, before the mediation begins, you and your divorce lawyer must have a goal-setting conversation. You must determine where the line in the sand is going to be drawn: what items are negotiable and what (ideally, relatively few) items are non-negotiable. A successful result is most often achieved by the party who is able to stand firm on a non-negotiable issue, while holding open the door to agreement on other issues.
Even when agreement is reached only on some issues, mediation can save the court and the lawyers time, and the parties money. Plus, once the parties see, in writing, the breadth of disputes they have resolved in this fashion, further negotiations often can produce the agreement that escaped them during the mediation process.