Mediation is getting a lot of attention these days, especially when it comes to settling family law disputes. The good news is that, in a lot of ways, mediation does live up to the hype.
There are many benefits of choosing mediation to settle a family law dispute over the traditional litigation process.
One of the most significant benefits is the money that it tends to save the parties involved. While taking a family law dispute to trial can result in legal fees costing tens of thousands of dollars, mediation can often settle the dispute for a fraction of the price.
For example, as we discussed in an article on our website, the American Bar Association has reported that a divorcing couple can often save between 40 to 60 percent in legal expenses by choosing mediation over regular litigation.
Another huge benefit to mediation is that it is often less stressful on everyone involved. Instead of battling against each other, the parties are able to use respect and cooperation to reach a mutual agreement. This can be especially helpful in co-parenting situations.
There are many other benefits to mediation as well, including the control it gives the parties over the process and outcome of their case, as well as the privacy and confidentiality it offers.
So now that you know some of the main benefits of mediation you may be wondering what the process entails.
Generally speaking, mediation involves meeting with a neutral third-party neutral who is trained in conflict mediation and will help facilitate the negotiations as the parties work to reach an agreement that they are both okay with.
Oftentimes, it is helpful to choose a mediator who is also a family law attorney because of their knowledge of the law. Although the mediator will never make choices for the parties, she can suggest options and explain how the court might rule on an issue.
It is likely that mediation will only become more common in Washington state and elsewhere as parties to family law disputes are empowered to settle their disputes on their own terms.