Today more and more family law cases are resolved in mediation. Only a very small percentage end up in court and of those even fewer end up in a trial. The cost of litigation is prohibitive and even if one party wins, they often have not won after they are required to pay their legal fees.
Family mediation is a way of keeping families out of court. It’s particularly effective because families are based on relationships and family members want to focus on how they feel and how they are going to manage emotionally and financially in the future without their partners. These concerns and fears can be addressed in mediation and creative resolutions can emerge based on the law but not as rigid as the resolutions a judge will impose in a court setting.
Another significant benefit of mediation is that it allows families to craft their own agreements rather than having a judge tell them what needs to be done. When spouses have a hand in making their own agreements they are able to accept the terms more readily and move forward in a more positive way.
The sooner the financial and emotional ties are severed and resolved the sooner families can focus on moving forward. If there are children involved, parents will be required to have a long-term relationship with their ex-spouses while the children grow up so if they can begin by resolving their issues in a mediation there will likely be much less animosity going forward.
Deborah A. Todd