It is universally agreed that when possible, allowing parties to make their own decisions that impact their own family with the assistance of a family mediator is much better than having a judge tell everybody what to do.
Without question, the greatest benefit to the divorce mediation process is that it gives the parties involved a chance to resolve their case by themselves, without submitting their case to a third party judge whom they barely know.
The divorce mediation process, because it is a negotiation, gives the parties a chance to seek a win-win resolution or to come up with alternative resolutions that benefit everyone involved. Litigation, while necessary in certain cases, is indeed a win-lose proposition. In effect, there can only be one “winner” or “loser” in trial. Trial is an exercise of loss of control by the parties. A judge is making decisions for their family’s future. Settlements reached in mediation tend to have a higher compliance rate, and ultimately have a higher perceived fairness by the parties involved as compared to a trial.
There are additional benefits of divorce mediation which include:
- A feeling of self-control and freedom during the process.
- An opportunity to emotionally “vent” in a safe place.
- Openly discuss child time sharing
- A time and place to consider alternatives and successful win-win resolutions.
- An opportunity to reduce trauma for children and show them that you and your spouse were able to engage in constructive conflict resolution.
Mediation is not a perfect entity and does have some potential drawbacks. Some of the potential drawbacks include:
- Legal rights and responsibilities can be pushed aside or ignored.
- If there is a power imbalance between the parties and their respective attorneys, then an unfair agreement may be the result. This is especially true if one of the parties is proceeding pro se (without an attorney.)
- Mediation does require two to tango. So if either party chooses not to fully participate, then the end result will be a failed mediation.
- The opposing counsel may discover weaknesses in their case while at divorce mediation and have a chance to remedy the flaws before trial.
To see if mediation is appropriate for you, call Deborah Beylus at South Florida Mediation Services at 561-789-0710.