Divorce Mediation: A Gentle Alternative to a Bitter Process
After a divorce trial, the parties are often exhausted, emotional, and financially drained. They have likely spent hours preparing for trial with their attorneys, have endured intense cross-examination on the witness stand, and have nervously awaited the judge’s decision. Additionally, they may have spent several thousand dollars or more in legal fees.
Many parties have turned to divorce mediation as a gentle, more peaceful alternative to a painful, bitter process. Divorce mediation saves the parties time, money, and stress. During mediation, the parties work with a third party neutral called a mediator. The mediator facilitates the settlement process by encouraging the parties to compromise on the issues. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties—any settlement is the result of the full agreement of the parties.
Divorce attorneys typically charge by the hour, and it is not unusual for some lawyers to charge over $250 per hour for their services—meaning that every time your attorney writes a letter, makes a phone call or appears in court, you must pay the hourly rate. If an issue becomes contested, your legal bill will likely skyrocket as your attorney devotes days or even weeks to resolving the issue.
In contrast, a mediator may only charge a couple thousand dollars to conduct mediation of the entire divorce, including parenting and financial issues. Additionally, even the most contested divorces are often resolved with just a few hours of mediation—so the parties save not only money, but also the time that would have been spent waiting for a trial date.
Mediation occurs in the privacy of an attorney conference room or mediation center. Therefore, the parties do not have to relive the intimate details of their marriage in front of a judge in a public courtroom. All discussions remain private, which allows the parties to relax and focus on settlement.