Mediation is now required in family law cases to help parties resolve their disputes without the governing hand of the Court. Mediation involves a neutral third party that hears both sides of the case and can advise parties outside of the courtroom. Attorneys are not necessarily required, but they are still recommended. The idea behind mediation is to let the parties have more control over the decisions that will affect the outcome of their cases and to save the parties time and money. The parties know their situations much better than a Judge and results are usually more tailored to each party’s needs and wants. However, in many cases mediation is not taken seriously and viewed as a required evil with no real positive impact. Mediation should be taken seriously though, as it is always better for the parties to come to a mutual decision than having the hand of the Court decide. Here are some benefits of taking mediation seriously:
1. Specifics — The result comes from the parties themselves who know their needs and desires better than the Court.
2. Creativity — Parties can be creative and can have an agreement that is outside of what a Court has the power to do. The Court is bound by statutes and precedence in the decisions they can make while mediation allows parties to be creative in resolving their disputes.
3. Therapeutic — Parties have a chance to “vent” to a third party neutral about issues that are irrelevant to a Court and likely will not be heard by a Court. This is a key step in resolving differences between parties.
4. Confidentially — Mediation allows settlement offers without future prejudice. Mediation can take place in the comfort of an office and not in open court.
5. Costs — Mediation saves money by coming to a resolution quicker and with minimum court intervention. Further, the parties do not have to pay the cost of attorney fees for their court time.
6. Time — Mediation is often less time intensive and disputes are resolved quicker because they are made by the parties themselves and there is no need to wait for a decision by a Judge.
These are some key benefits that will make all family court cases less stressful, more cost-effective and resolved quicker.