Divorce Court is no doubtfully an ugly, depressing, angry place that people should want to avoid at all costs. It looks harmless enough, though quite intimidating. You have to walk past the rows and rows of benches provided for the audience of the dissolution of your marriage. You make the trek through
the special door that bars off the audience from the population. You make your way to your battle table where you and your lawyer await for the Judge to take his or her seat above the crowd. You are surrounded by people there to watch what happens to all of your worldly possessions and your family. It might be humiliating. It might be heartbreaking. It is what happens when you decide to take it all to trial. Hearing this, you may want to escape this situation. You may want to run and hide, but you know for a fact all the go-betweens with your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer are going nowhere. How can you finish this without having to step foot in that courtroom? Mediation.
- You don’t have to look at your spouse to settle your case. Unlike court, in mediation, you can request (or your mediator may suggest) that you are in a completely separate room. You don’t have to deal with looking at your spouse rolling their eyes when you make a suggestion at a settlement. You don’t have to resist the urge to punch your spouse in the face when they say something ugly, or lie, because they aren’t sitting right there. You can simply talk to your lawyers, come up with a fair offer or counter offer, and you never have to see that person ever again.
- You aren’t bound by the circumstances. You can go into mediation expecting a settlement, but just like when you are negotiating with your lawyer, you aren’t bound by what you decide. At any point in time, if they aren’t bringing any bargaining brains to the table, you can simply get up and leave. This is NOT suggested as you’re paying the mediator a lot of money to help you settle this case. However, if they aren’t negotiating, and you see that they are sticking to their guns and you’ve been waiving the white flag, then go.
- Your mediator is smart, and is a fantastic indicator on how the Judge will rule. Most mediators we know used to be Judges. They retire from all the drama in the courtroom, to having the drama brought to the privacy of their own office. They can tell you how they would’ve ruled, how good or bad your case really is, and if you’re being a complete pain in the rear. They urge you to settle to keep you from the pain and heartache that they dealt with for years. If you come to them open minded, they’ll steer in you in the direction you’ll be in a few months or a year from then!
- Mediation seems expensive, but it can save you money. People see one more fee that is associated with their case and they only see that additional cost without noting how it can save them money. Mediators do cost extra, but the service they provide is immediate and can save you months if not years of litigation-associated costs. Think about the hours of work your attorney would need to bill associated with a huge drawn out trial. Think of the phone calls you’ll have to make to fix visitation issues or money problems when your spouse doesn’t comply during all the months waiting for trial. Mediation may seem expensive, but if you start taking into account the wait time, the associated trial costs, and the countless hours of your lawyer negotiating on your behalf simply because the other side isn’t cooperating, that up-front investment isn’t that big of a deal!
- It’s OVER. While you don’t have to be bound by the circumstances, mediation can end it all. You can have your paperwork drawn up, plans etched in stone to solve the end of the case. You can leave the mediators office to the sound of them filing the final paperwork, knowing that you may never have to see your ex-spouse again. You can leap for joy out their door and move on with your life. Yippee!