Five Reasons for Family Law Mediation

What are the advantages for the process of family and divorce mediation?

The approach is entirely different than the traditional adversarial track. Almost all family law cases in Minnesota will go through some type of alternative dispute resolution process. The courts expect it and they highly encourage it as an effective method to resolve many of the disputes brought before them. The discussions held in mediation are private and the atmosphere is informal, as opposed to a courtroom setting.

The advantages of mediation are many, but here are a few highlights:

1. Mediation is cost effective.

Going back and forth between parties and their attorneys takes multiple steps, preparing for court on two different sides of an issue quickly adds time and expense to your legal proceedings. Mediation is a facilitated conversation between all parties involved to try and reach a common resolution. There is no need to waste your marital assets paying attorneys to argue back and forth about issues that can be discussed and resolved in mediation, with all the decision makers in one place.

During mediation, the mediator will keep the conversations focused and constructive, which can accelerate the resolution of a divorce of custody matter.

2. Mediation keeps parties in control over their family’s future.

If you choose to go to trial over mediation in your matter, it is likely that a Judge, who doesn’t know your family dynamics, will make a decision that may not meet the needs of your family. Instead, mediation affords you and your spouse or co-parent to work together to make choices that will affect your lives on the other side of divorce or child custody process.

You can mediate things about the future such as: how you will make decisions about your children; how you will share time with them; how you will share in the costs for yourselves and your children; and how property and debts should be assigned.

3. Mediation offers more creative solutions.

When both parties are committed to a resolution, being face to face and talking through solutions can offer a more satisfactory outcome. You can talk about your after divorce needs and circumstances and try to fashion an agreement that everyone can live with and that best serves your family. Having an experienced family law attorney as your mediator is helpful when discussing future outcomes.

4. Dealing with children during mediation keeps the focus on the children.

When children are involved parties are required to co-parent for many years and it is important to maintain a level of respect for each other, which ultimately benefits your children and can facilitate your own sense of calm about the situation.

In non-mediated matters the Court is typically left holding the cards to make a decision. This can create an adversarial effect and tension among parents. In mediation the mediator can help facilitate creative solutions that work for both parties and create the best solution for your children.

5. Mediation is confidential.

In a confidential setting, parties are more apt to discuss creative solutions or offer something they might not offer if they knew they would be held to it in a courtroom setting. Family circumstances can be discussed in private at mediation, rather than having a court record or transcript of your most personal family dynamics.

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