Because you’re still a family
The Sane Alternative to Contentious Litigation
First: Mediation is cost effective. If you proceed with litigation both of you must retain counsel (unless you represent yourself - which is not a wise decision considering the complexity of matrimonial law). The initial retainer for a competent matrimonial attorney starts at $7,500.00 each. Before you address the first of many issues you have depleted your assets by $15,000.00.
Second: Mediation is more efficient. It is well acknowledged, and accepted, that mediation is a more efficient and time effective process. In almost all cases mediated divorces are resolved in less time than it takes for litigants to make their first court appearance.
Third: Mediation does not require court appearances. There are a number of reasons why this is important; first, you do not incur the significant cost of counsel’s appearance; second, you are not placed into that uncomfortable position of having to confront your spouse in an adversarial proceeding in a court of law; and finally, in most instances, to make an appearance in court you must either lose a day’s pay or use a personal, vacation, or sick day. In effect, you are losing money while paying for your attorney’s services.
Fourth: Mediation, as opposed to litigation, is self-determinative. Again, no one is in a better position to determine what’s right for your family than you; certainly, not disinterested third parties.
Fifth: Mediation is less damaging to the family. It is well documented that divorce by litigation places a heavy toll upon the family; that litigation only serves to further fracture an already fractured relationship - making it more difficult, if not impossible, for parents to relate to each other as parents rather than angry adversaries.
Sixth: Mediation encourages and fosters effective communication. One of the more significant problems with litigation is that once the process begins communication between the parties break down. In a time and circumstance that requires greater communication between the parties litigation purposefully inhibits “one-to-one” communication. Rather than discuss the “family’s” issues as concerned parents, in an open and honest atmosphere, litigation forces you to guard your communication to protect your “individual” interests. What litigation doesn’t understand is that the philosophy of one party “winning” and the other “losing” is counterproductive to sustained family involvement. In family law, when one party “wins” the loser is not only the other party, but the family itself.
Seventh: Mediation provides the family the greatest opportunity to move quickly and efficiently thorough the difficulties of divorce to the healing process. The reason that this is so critically important is that children going through divorce bear the sins of the parents. Children are emotional receptors. They experience what you experience. They suffer the same sense of loss and anxiety of the unknown future that you do, with the exception that they are powerless to affect the outcome.
Eight: Mediation strives to bring the “parents”, rather than “adversaries” to the bargaining table to ensure that the best interest of the family is the motivating factor directing the settlement process. The “win v lose” dynamic of litigation is counterproductive to settlement designed to protect the future interests of the family, as opposed to the individual.
Ninth: Mediation is child friendly. Recognizing that children of divorce are victims of their parent’s decisions and are often placed in the difficult position of “choosing sides”; coping with divided loyalties; bearing their parent’s secrets; made unwitting accomplices to their parents’ acts; and, often assuming the role of caregiver to their parents (a reversal of the natural order of things) mediation looks to minimize the effect of divorce upon the children by encouraging resolution that moves beyond blame, past indiscretions and hostile accusations in an effort to shield the children from the sins of the parents.
Tenth: Mediation is the most efficient method to resolve the parent’s issues and reestablish the security and comfort of the children’s physical and emotional structure. By definition divorce will change the physical and emotional environment of the children forcing them to confront new realities. Those new realities can be devastating to a child. The strength and comfort realized from an intact nuclear family is placed in immediate jeopardy when parents divorce. Children must adapt to:
For all of these reasons, and more, mediation remains the best means to move your family through the very difficult process of divorce to that time when you can begin the healing process necessary to reestablish the sanctity of the family.
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