Mediation offers benefits for all sorts of legal matters, and while many people consider it a method for business resolutions, mediation can be a very effective way to resolve family law matters, as well. Resolving marital or family disputes through mediation is usually simpler and less expensive than going the traditional court route.
Mediation is an interactive process in which parties of their family law dispute actually work together with the help of a neutral mediator to reach an agreeable solution. This process can be used for a wide range of family law conflicts, including parenting time, child custody arrangements, spousal support, and grandparents’ rights. What benefits can families expect to see when they utilize mediation in family law? Here are some of the most common advantages.
Mediation Offers Flexibility
There is only so much wiggle room when scheduling a court hearing. Usually, the judge’s office will provide a select number of available days and times, and then you and the other party will have to make that work with your schedule. However, when scheduling mediation, there is far more flexibility to work around your calendar. Virtual mediation is also often an option, especially now that we are all so well-versed with zoom post covid. Thus, mediation sessions are generally much easier to schedule. Having this level of flexibility not only lowers the stress level of having to work around strict court schedules but can also mean that you can begin working toward a resolution sooner rather than later.
Mediation is Private and Confidential
One of the major benefits that many businesses find in mediation is that the meeting remains private and also the details of the discussions can remain confidential, encouraging solutions that are creative and sometimes “out of the box”. With some exceptions, court hearings are often open to the public. Court records can also become a matter of public record, and most people would rather their private matters stay that way, especially family matters. Mediation sessions are closed to the public and usually take place in a comfortable and peaceful setting. This added sense of comfort and security promote transparency and sharing in communication that allows for productive negotiations.
Mediation Increases Control
If your family law matter goes before a judge, your lawyers will, of course, have the chance to advocate for you and make specific requests or recommendations. However, the ultimate and final decision falls to the judge. In mediation, you and the other party maintain your own authority over decisions and agreements and you have the free reign to discuss and weigh in on potential solutions. This setting allows then for more control over the outcome. Your own involvement can lead to a more positive and less hostile environment and this increases the effectiveness of the mediation sessions.
Sometimes mediation fails, however when that happens, the ground made in meeting together often leads to other terms of agreement and adds to the further discussions that may allow for agreement later on in your process. If both parties remain willing to communicate openly and are dedicated to making compromises necessary to come to a consensus, the chances of success are high.
Divorce and other family law matters are rarely simple. However, the right mediation specialist can make the process easier and allow you to design a more positive outcome. Contact McMurdie Law & Mediation at 480-777-5500 to schedule an appointment today.