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The Traditional Divorce using Lawyers v. Divorce Mediation. What is the difference?

Traditionally when parties separated, both parties hired a lawyer, the lawyers obtained every piece of financial disclosure and then the lawyers would negotiate a settlement on behalf of their clients. If the parties do not reach an agreement, they proceed to trial and the judge makes the decision for them. The judge then has the control as to the outcome whereas in mediation the parties control the outcome.

A traditional divorce often takes years to be resolved and the cost can reach the tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Very often real issues get clouded by legal technicalities, arguments between counsel and procedural entanglements.

Because of the cost, stress and delays with a traditional divorce, the destruction to relationships and depleting the family assets, mediation has evolved so the parties can work through their issues and achieve a resolution in a more affordable and amicable manner.

Mediation and the Benefits of working with a divorce mediator

Divorce mediation is a process with a trained, impartial individual helps to facilitate communication between the parties and assists the parties reach an agreement that is fair and equitable to both parties. Mediation is completely voluntary and does not involve the continued cost of litigation.

What are the advantages of mediation?

  1. LISTEN: An independent third party, the mediator, listens to both parties, their interests and the issues to be resolved and help direct them to an agreeable resolution.
  2. COST: The cost of the mediation is far less than the cost of litigation. Once parties separate, or decide to separate, the earlier the parties enter into the mediation process, the better.
  3. FLEXIBILITY: The parties agree on the mediator they wish to use and attend mediation at their convenience. The parties design the mediation process. In some cases, it will be best to separate the parties and have individual communication with the parties. In most cases, the mediator will facilitate communication directly between the parties. Mediation allows the parties to reach a consensus by focusing on the needs of the parties, not just the legal issues in the case.
  4. VOLUNTARY: Mediation is voluntary. No one can force the parties to accept an agreement. The mediator does not make any rulings or decisions. The parties are free to craft the resolution that will work best for them and their circumstances, whether it would otherwise be available in court or not.
  5. SPEEDY AND RISK-FREE: Mediation is much quicker than going through the litigation process. It will take years if it goes to trial. The parties will eliminate the cost, stress and risk of going through the legal system. The parties can quickly put the dispute behind them and move forward with a satisfactory outcome for both parties.
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