As you face a difficult and often times highly emotional time in your life, you want to be aware of all options available for resolving your dispute. Parties will often litigate a family law dispute, which may create additional conflict in an already volatile relationship. Mediationis an amazing option for couples going through a divorce and for child custody issues because emotions do tend to run so high.
Mediation provides the parties with the opportunity to talk and be heard by the other party in a safe and nonthreatening environment. During mediation, you are not in front of a judge, who is probably too busy to hear about what happened and why you are upset, worried or nervous about the outcome. Mediators are trained to listen and to help parties reach a resolution to their problem. An effective mediator will not force you into a decision that is not right for you. Rather, an effective mediator will work with both parties and will facilitate a discussion as to how both parties can resolve the matter in a way that everyone will feel comfortable with the outcome.
When you go to Court, there is no way to know what the Judge will decide. You may be happy with all,some or none of the Judge’s ruling. Mediation provides you with an opportunity to work with the other party and to tailor an agreement that works for everyone. Parties that reach an agreement through mediation are often times able to live with the agreement for a longer period of time, because they crafted the agreement themselves.
Make sure that mediation is right for you, as mediation is not always appropriate. If there is domestic violence or control issues and both parties are unrepresented, one party may try to take advantage of the other party. If there is domestic violence or control options involved, look into all of your options, including hiring an attorney to represent you. Mediation is a great option for most people, dealing with divorce and custody issues, but you need to make sure it is right for you.