Divorce mediation is a value added process and the experience and results are often much better than what is achieved in Court. If the parties feel that they can be in the same room with each other in a civil manner for a couple of hours then mediation is for them. The parties go through and resolve their difficulties through the mediator, and at the same time make progress towards their desired agreement pertaining to custody, divorce or any other outstanding family law issues.
To help you compare divorce mediation and litigation, below is a table which compares the two and explains why mediation is often a much better choice than litigation.
|Value added benefits||Very stressful, painful and damaging|
|Skilled Family Law Attorney doing mediation
Price – Approx $1,500 to 4,000 for the entire divorce/custody action
|Very Expensive – up to 10 times more than mediation.|
|Faster – a month or two||Slower – months or even 2 years|
|Better Co-Parents||Ruins Relationships|
|Full Understanding of the Agreements||May not understand the process|
|Acceptable results||Results grudgingly accepted|
|Win-Win situation||Anger, bitterness and negative feelings remain for both parties|
|Effective parenting plan||Contrary to being co-parents|
|Therapeutic||Perceived loss for both parties|
|Document Preparation – Included
In the cost
|Document Preparation adds to the cost|
Mediation usually costs much less than litigation, sometimes up to 10 times less! In terms of mediation, the cost is relatively inexpensive, ranging in total from $2,000 to $8,000 depending on the situation. Litigation can easily cost each party in excess of $10,000 or more. If this price range is still too expensive, you might want to consider an uncontested divorce. For more information, click here to contact us.
Mediation sessions are usually scheduled on a once a week basis and most situations can be resolved in a month or two. In contrast, lawsuits often take many months, or even several years, to resolve.
Lawsuits may polarize and ruin relationships, so a huge advantage of mediation is its ability to get a dispute resolved quickly without destroying the relationship between the parties. This is especially important if the parties have a child or children together.
Through mediation, we make sure that the parties involved understand everything they are agreeing to and we inquire whether each party is happy with the results now and in the future. If the litigation is not done properly, or if the parties are trying to cut costs with a paralegal, the finished product may have seriously adverse consequences to one or both parties. Often times the parties don’t understand what they are doing or they don’t know the implications of their agreement. Sometimes the parties do not understand that “you get what you paid for.” There are cases where the parties have to come back 10 years later to try to get something fixed or, in the worst case scenarios, it cannot be fixed and it just ruins the rest of their lives because someone didn’t understand what they were doing.
That’s the main disadvantage of using a paralegal or a self-help venue. Many times people do not get enough information to realize that they are making poor decisions that might adversely affect them for the rest of their lives.
In mediation, we at the Steinberg Law Group are here to insure that both parties make informed and intelligent decisions.
Through mediation, we are able to come to resolutions even when the parties aren’t sure what they need to do. We do not compel them to make a particular resolution, but we will tell them what the court would most likely do in that particular situation. We give them an honest answer from what we have observed from over 15 years of Court experience. Many times the parties are able to come up with a resolution that works for them. Sometimes, there are very unusual resolutions, but that’s the beautiful part of the divorce mediation process. The court will not take the time to come up with a resolution that specifically works for the parties. We routinely come up with these types of resolutions in mediation, resulting in a much better outcome.
Here’s an example; Dad goes into court and he has 2 major issues, A & B. If you asked him which is more important, he would say A. Mom goes to court and she has 2 major issues, C & D. If you asked her which is more important she would say C. Many times the court will resolve it as follows: Dad you get B, Mom you get D. Both parties leave unhappy and are angry and blame each other. This sets a poor premise for being co-parents in the future or having any type of working relationship for the “best interest” of the minor children.
In mediation we come much closer to a “Win-Win” situation for both parties. Both parties may not say they are thrilled with every aspect of it, but both parties will generally be of the same opinion that it is a fair agreement. It is much easier for people to abide by a contract that they agreed to, rather than being ordered by the court to do so.
If the parents have a parenting plan in effect that works, they need to have an agreement that is something that they both can follow, but has rigid guidelines so that everyone knows what they have to do. It needs to be in a proper form so the court can enforce the written agreement, if necessary.
The parties are going to have to deal with each other after they get divorced. Mediation really puts them in a much better position to be co-parents and act in the child’s best interest.
The mediation process can be therapeutic. The mediation process and how people feel about each other after mediation is finished is critical to each parties’ future success as a co-parent.
We help orchestrate the entire divorce or custody process from start to finish, such as: When are we going to distribute the home furnishings? When are we going to refinance the house? How are we going to implement a temporary timeshare? This makes the whole process much smoother and avoids conflict.
The mediation process is very smooth and through this process, the parties are generally much happier with the results which allow them to co-parent much better with each other.
Another advantage of mediation is confidentiality. With very few exceptions (for example, where a criminal act or child abuse is involved), what you say during mediation cannot legally be revealed outside the mediation proceedings or used later in a court of law. By contrast, one of the drawbacks of going to court is that everything said or submitted in connection with a lawsuit, aside from settlement negotiations, becomes available to the public. Only by a special order of a judge can information be “sealed” from public exposure. So whether your desire is to protect your trade secrets or just to avoid airing your “dirty laundry” in public, your privacy will be much better preserved in mediation than with litigation.
As mediators, Steinberg Law Group works for both parties involved. We are not on one side or the other. From a legal standpoint, our agreements and forms are pretty sophisticated, as you might expect from a mediator who is also an attorney.
Legally, Las Vegas attorneys (and nationwide) are not supposed to represent both parties. In the final documents, it will indicate that that we are one party’s attorney. If the other party feels the least bit hesitant, I insist that they have another attorney review the divorce documents before they sign. Most of the time both parties feel very comfortable during the process and they want to sign and finalize the documents which are, after all, their agreement.
Many mediators are not lawyers. We at the Steinberg Law Group have the background, training and experience in both arenas. You get all the benefits of having skilled Family Law litigation attorneys who know all the possibilities that could happen in court. We have handled hundreds of successful mediations.