This has been a question I have addressed in previous articles and it is a question I get asked all the time. I think it is important to know all your options before deciding either of the two. By making an educated decision you will almost never have any regrets.
Statistics show that more than 95% of cases that are litigated settle before the case goes to court. However, there are still thousands of dollars that are spent to get to that point. Attorney’s fees, depositions, court filing fees, experts, and the list goes on and on. Couples who choose to hire attorneys to handle a divorce will spend on an average of more than $15,000.00 each and in most cases much more money than that as the case and goes back and forth between the lawyers. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have that money for your children’s college fund or other expenses or savings for you and your family?
TIME AND MONEY:
Mediation generally takes less time to come to a resolution. Most cases can be completed in less than six (6) one-hour sessions. Total costs for the couple is usually less than $6,000.00, but sometimes it can be more depending on the issues which need to be resolved in addition to experts which need to be consulted. However, even if the total cost is let’s say $10,000.00 for mediation, that is still a lot less than $30,000.00+ and 2+ years or more going through the litigation process isn’t it?
Generally in the litigation process, one side wins and the other loses. This not only makes one party unhappy, but the losing party is much more likely to breach the agreement or order from the court. Then what happens is the other spouse has to go back to court, spend more $$$ on attorney fees and hope to get the desired result from the Judge. Again, this is a vicious cycle which can happen over and over against simply for the reason that the breaching party cannot reasonably comply with the court’s order based on his/her circumstances whether financially or otherwise.
In mediation the parties are in CHARGE of the process. The mediator does not give legal advice, tell the parties what to do or not to do or represent either party, but simply informs the parties about the law and allows the parties to make their decision(s) based on that information. Even more importantly, it allows a mutually agreeable solution at the end of the negotiation process. Both parties leave with an agreement that not only works now, but in the shadow of the future. In addition, both parties can return to mediation if there are major changes later on or if there are previous issues which need to be resolved. Only the parties know what is best for them, their children and their lives going forward. The Judge or either attorney does not know what is best. Decisions are based on the law period and each attorneys job is to beat up the other one and get as much for their client as possible.
You owe it to yourself to have complete knowledge of all your options before choosing litigation or mediation and being able to make an educated decision before moving forward. There are cases wherein mediation may not work and the same goes for litigation.
For more answers to your questions, feel free to contact me for a FREE 30-minute, in-office consultation at 516-308-7808 or visit my website at http://www.mymediationservices.com