The Benefits of Mediation
Divorce is a stressful time. That stress can be greatly reduced if the parties agree to mediation. A successful mediation means both sides walk away satisfied that they got a fair resolution. It does not mean that a party received everything he or she wanted. It helps if the parties are concerned with what is in everyone’s best interests.
Preparation is vital to a successful mediation. It is important to identify the areas of conflict prior to arriving for the mediation. Establish your priorities ahead of time, rather than waiting to figure this out during the mediation. (This will take more time, and ultimately cost more money.)
This list is personal to you. There are no right answers. Prioritizing personally allows the parties to focus on what is important to them and not concern themselves with outsiders – or the priorities of the soon to be ex-spouse. It also shifts the focus to problems instead of people. Prioritizing also looks to the future, instead of rehashing the past.
There are many positive aspects to mediation. Some of these include the following:
You Cannot be Forced to Agree to Anything
Mediation is not arbitration. In arbitration, the arbitrator makes a final ruling, like a judge. The mediator’s role is to find common ground between the parties. If an agreement can be reached on some or all of the topics, that is wonderful. Not every mediation results in an agreement, and that is okay. Finding new common ground and identifying specific ongoing areas of conflict can be very helpful, even in the absence of a complete agreement. If no mediated settlement can be reached, the process returns to court. Nobody is forced to agree to a settlement they do not want.
Mediation Saves Money and Time
The court process is time consuming and it is slow. Also, you will spend most of your time in court waiting – and paying your lawyer at the same time. Even if your case settles out of court, back and forth negotiations between lawyers can become expensive, quickly.
You are Given the Opportunity to be Heard and Make your Requests
Remember that list you made, prioritizing what was most important to you? This is why you made that list. The mediator is there to listen to you and your requests. If one of the parties is asking for something that is unreasonable, the mediator will say so – that is part of his or her job. So ask for whatever is on your list, but be willing to listen and compromise. Remember your priorities.
Mediation is Much Less Stressful than Court
Mediation takes place in an office, not a courtroom. Mediation involves conversation, while court involves confrontation. In a mediation, the parties will be in separate conference rooms and the mediator will go back and forth, communicating privately with the parties. This means you probably will not even have to see your soon to be ex-spouse.
Let the Law Firm of Sandra Bonfiglio Help You
Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. is an experienced Florida divorce attorney. Contact us today to see how we can assist you in ensuring that your divorce happens as peacefully as possible.