“You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!” Is this Mediation?
Well, actually….yes. Mediation is an alternative to
litigation. It’s a place where the parties sit face to face with one another
and try to resolve their case without using judges, the courtroom, trials, and
even the law, but that is not to say that it doesn’t get confrontational or
emotional. However, despite the above, there are many advantages to
mediation….and we saw the advantages played out in Wedding Crashers, where they
ultimately came to an amicable agreement.
Below is an outline of the pros and cons of participating
a case is extremely expensive. Generally, family law lawyers charge
anywhere from $200-$800 dollars per hour. If you have a trial to resolve
your divorce with a lawyer that charges $500/hour that lasts just two
days, each party will spend EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS for those two days in
court. That is not including any trial prep, paperwork, conversations or
correspondence with the client or other attorneys, which could easily be
an additional $10,000. So each party will have spent roughly $20,000, for
a combined $40,000, which they could have put their kid through college
with. With mediation you may be
able to resolve your entire case in one day and $1,000.00.
the time you file the first paper in a divorce, if you were working
towards a trial date from the very beginning it would be about 6 months
before your case would go to trial (and most cases do not know they are
going to trial until at least 6 months into it). With mediation, before you
ever even file the first paper, you could resolve the case, and it may
take just one day.
satisfaction with the outcome
have shown that when people have had a hand in the final result, they are
more satisfied. If you go to court and put the decision entirely into the
judge’s hand, you may end up feeling like you had no say in where your
children would primarily live, etc. However, if you fashioned a resolution
in mediation, even if it wasn’t your first choice, you’re likely to be more
satisfied because of your involvement and power to agree or not to agree.
can resolve issues in ways that courts do not allow
instance, the law requires that retirement accounts are split equally. In
mediation, you don’t have to do that. Maybe in exchange for one party
getting to stay in the home, the other gets their retirement without
splitting it. You can fashion a resolution that works for the two of you
and not be bound to what our legislature has required.
do have to face your ex-spouse
you litigate a case, most likely most of the communication can be done
between the parties’ attorneys. When you stand in court, you never have to
face your spouse. You always face the Judge straight ahead. In mediation,
you will be talking directly to your spouse, looking at your spouse, and
engaging with your spouse. To some, this is a huge con to mediation as
they simply cannot bear being in the same space with the other person.
may bring emotions to the surface
may think you have “moved on” or gotten over the hurt that other may have
caused you, but seeing them again brings it back to the surface, or
unsuccessful, it may be an added cost
you try mediation and it is not successful and THEN have to litigate, the
mediation will have been an added cost.
parties must be willing to resolve the case
only works if both parties are truly ready and willing to resolve the
case. Believe it or not, there are parties who simply like to keep the
conflict going and, therefore, do NOT want to resolve the case. Mediation
will not be successful unless both parties genuinely want resolution.
I am certified and trained mediator. I guarantee I will not
be as funny (or as vulgar) as Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, however it’s
highly likely I will settle your case. I have been appointed on Riverside County’s panel of court mediators and do private mediation as well. For more information on mediation call