Firms use the mediation process in many areas of family law. In a divorce case, spouses meet with a neutral third party who doesn’t represent either spouse.
If a mediator can help couples agree on the disputed points, a contested divorce doesn’t have to end up in court. However, this only works when both parties are willing to negotiate in this setting without opposing lawyers at the table.
A jury trial can be very stressful, and a courtroom can be particularly difficult during an already emotional time. Mediation takes place in a conference room with both spouses and the assigned mediator. The role of the mediator is to keep the discussion focused, the conversation calm and the stress level in check.
If a divorce case goes to court, it means additional billable hours for the attorneys. Resolving issues in mediation means that the case may never need to go before a judge, reducing not only legal fees, but the cost of time away from work.
Even if the divorce case does end up in the court, mediation may help the spouses to resolve at least some of their issues in advance of the trial. The less time spent in litigation, the sooner the parties involved will be able to move forward.
Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances, but mediation can make it a little easier. By enabling the parties to maintain more control over decisions that impact the whole family, mediation may also provide a more peaceful journey through the process.