A typical mediation costs an average of $3,500 per family. A divorce litigated through the court system with attorneys may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 or more per family!
Mediation goes at a pace that you determine. Typically, cases are resolved within three to six months. A divorce through the court system can take six months to three years or more to reach a resolution.
The majority of cases filed in the Court system settle after the parties run out of money or have wasted a good deal of time and money on legal fees. In mediation, we move right to the heart of the issues and resolve these issues BEFORE you drain your bank accounts to pay legal fees.
In cases that involve children, studies have shown that parents who had been assigned to mediation reported greater involvement, cooperation, and flexibility while co-parenting their children over subsequent years than those who went through litigation (e.g., Emery, 2001). For children, the toughest part of separation and divorce may not be from changes in living arrangements, but from the conflict that they see between the two people they love and need the most – their parents. By involving both parents in making decisions about the children, we believe that mediation sets the stage for positive and cooperative co-parenting in the years ahead.
A good mediator is sensitive to the needs of your family while you are trying to resolve emotionally charged issues such as custody, visitation, support, and property distribution, and is trained to help minimize the stress and hostility associated with discussing and resolving these very important issues.
An experienced mediator, one who has worked with many families over the years, can often suggest useful alternatives and creative solutions that you might not have considered previously.
Only you know what is best for your children and your family. You make every other decision for your family – why should these extremely important issues be left to a stranger to determine? Through mediation, we will help you to reach a resolution that works best for your family. YOU guide the outcome, not a stranger to your family. In the alternative, if you choose to go to court and cannot reach an agreement, ultimately, the Court will make the decision for you as to what will happen to your family. The Court, although well-intentioned, does not know you or your family, and will often make a decision that you are not happy with. This unhappiness often causes parties to continue to litigate for years to come seeking the resolution that they wanted to no avail. Although some cases may have unique issues that require Court intervention, most do not. Reaching an informed and voluntary agreement with a neutral mediator often results in a more peaceful future for you and your family.
In a typical divorce case, both lawyers try to prove that their client is right and that the other party wrong. This often leads to ongoing bitterness and resentment. In mediation, we work hard to achieve a resolution that both parties can live with, while not generating more hostility. We create an environment where all concerns are expressed and resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
With all this in mind, the more appropriate question might be, why not use mediation? You can always go to Court to litigate your divorce if mediation is not for you. However, nearly 95% of all of our mediations result in successful resolutions, and mediation costs a fraction of what it will cost you to litigate your divorce or family related legal issues in court. The initial financial investment to try mediation is minimal, (as opposed to the cost of litigation), and may save you thousands and thousands of dollars in the long run.