Over 90 percent of all family law cases settle without going to trial, but not all settlements are good settlements. Some result from exhaustion, fear, or simply caving-in. That’s always a mistake. The beauty of mediation is that you can achieve a better, well-considered, longer lasting agreement that works best for you and your children--and one far less likely to involve post-decree disagreements and expensive hearings.
If done correctly and with a skilled mediator, mediation is faster, cheaper, less stressful, and yields better results for you. In short, it consistently keeps more assets and income in the pockets of both parties.
Dave mediates and arbitrates family law cases for people who already have lawyers.
Well, the short answer is courts are heavily congested, more so since the pandemic, and you may be court-ordered to mediate to reduce the backlog of cases.
But the better answer is:
You have more control in mediation than in front of a judge.
Mediation is less formal, less stressful, and can be scheduled faster than a trial.
Because mediation is strictly confidential--unlike trials which are public--you can easily and completely shield your mediated agreement from public view.
Less formality makes it easier for you to talk and be heard in mediation. Even if you’re unsure of what to say, a skilled mediator will help you; judges are held to the rules of evidence and aren’t permitted to give you the same help.
If done successfully and with a skilled mediator, mediation is far less expensive than a trial and consistently keeps more assets and income in the pockets of the parties.
Most cases can be finished in a single day (or a half day) of mediation, as opposed to multiple days in trial. Even highly complex financial or custody cases can be completed in a day or two if the mediator is afforded proper preparation.
Judges are limited in what rulings they may give. In mediation, you may--with the help of a good mediator--craft a result that judges wouldn’t be able to give but works better for you.
Not all judges are skilled and knowledgeable in divorce and family law.
You can pick your mediator and arbitrator, but you can’t pick your judge.
There’s less risk in mediation. If you don’t like what the mediator is telling you, you can get up and walk out. If you don’t like what the judge is telling you, you’re stuck with it.