In this article, you will learn…
- What the financial advantages of mediation are,
- How mediation can save you time and simplify your case, and
- How even a partial agreement can save you time and money.
What Are The Financial Advantages Of Mediation Over Litigation?
The main financial advantage of mediation is that, in a divorce case, it allows you to take the money that you have and divide it with your spouse instead of giving it to an attorney. That’s the easiest way to illustrate the benefits of mediation in a divorce case where there’s property at issue.
Court appointed mediation typically costs $200 per person, per session. When the court orders mediation, which it will usually do toward the beginning of your case, you’re going to be ordered to two sessions of mediation. That’s $400 per person, and that’s still only a small fraction of what you’re going to be paying an attorney to litigate your case.
Even if your case ends up settling at the end of a settlement conference, or settling on the day of trial so that you don’t have to go through a whole trial, it can still be very costly to pay an attorney to get you through the process of litigation and communicate with opposing counsel to come up with an agreement.
In some cases, litigation instead of mediation is necessary. Cases with allegations of abuse of a party or child are not recommended for mediation. Further, cases where the parties are adverse enough that they are unable to sit together and reasonably discuss the issues may not be good for mediation.
If you can set aside your differences and sit in mediation to try to resolve issues, though, that’s going to save you a lot of time and an enormous amount of money.
When you resolve something by mediation, you go to your sessions and put your agreement in writing. Your mediated agreement should be reviewed by an attorney before the parties make it official, sign it, or file it with the court. After that, though, it all goes really quickly.
So, the biggest benefit of mediation is definitely saving yourself a lot of money and time, but it’s also avoiding litigation or a trial. When you go to trial, you’re asking a judge to step in and make decisions about your life and family which you may not agree are the best for you or your kids.
The confrontational nature of a trial can also make it very difficult to move forward as a co-parent or ex-spouse. At a trial the parties often have to testify and provide evidence that might be upsetting or embarrassing for the other party and make them less likely to want to move forward as friends or co-parents in the future.
Can Mediation Be Useful To My Divorce Or Custody Matter Or Child Support Even If We Don’t Or Can’t Come To An Agreement On All Of The Matters?
Mediation can absolutely be useful to your divorce, custody, or child support matter even if you don’t or can’t come to an agreement. A lot of people come to a partial agreement in mediation, which is still beneficial even if you can’t agree on all matters.
If you’re able to come to an agreement on the physical custody and resolve that schedule, that’s something that you no longer have to ask a judge to decide for you. A judge doesn’t always have the insight into your family life to make a decision that you’re going to feel is right for your family. Resolving any part of your case is to your benefit for that reason.
So, even if you can’t resolve the issue of child support, it’s good that you’re able to resolve the custody schedule together. Then, you can take the matter of child support up with the court and they can resolve that for you.
Child support is done based on the Maryland Child Support Guidelines in Maryland. Parents aren’t going to be familiar with these guidelines, especially if they don’t have an attorney who can help them understand how child support is awarded. These parents may not be comfortable resolving child support in mediation for that reason.
Resolving some issues in mediation and leaving other issues on the table for litigation is still beneficial because, ultimately, you want to be able to make decisions to the best of your ability without the court ordering you to do something you feel isn’t fair but is legal according to the law. It also will narrow down the time spent in litigation if you have less issues to litigate.
So, really, even resolving only a portion of your issues in mediation and leaving some items for litigation has financial and other benefits to you.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Family Law in Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (443) 300-2335 today.