The Constructive Alternative To Litigation
Mediation is a useful alternative to litigation. It can resolve traditional legal disputes, but it does so in a manner that is much less expensive and less aggressive than litigation. Most importantly, this approach leaves room for couples to set a positive tone for moving forward to a future where they will continue to work together as co-parents. I have extensive experience as an attorney working in the courts here in Garden City and the greater New York City area, but I find that mediation and uncontested divorce work well together.
Generally speaking, the two sides come to the negotiation table with the mindset that they want to resolve outstanding issues rather than escalate. Either an impartial mediator works with the couple alone or the couple is accompanied by their individual lawyers. This can be done to settle all outstanding issues, or done in conjunction with litigation to resolve as many issues as possible before going to court.
Strengths Of Mediation You May Not Have Considered
There are other less obvious reasons why mediation can be beneficial for resolving divorce agreements and other family law issues.
- Confidentiality: While litigation is in a court of law with public records, mediation is done in private and involves only those directly connected to the case.
- Control: Litigation leaves the final decision up to judges and jury, while mediation allows the parties to fashion their own solutions that need not follow traditional statutes of the law.
- A solution you can live with: Because you negotiated the various issues involved, you will likely feel more comfortable with following the final arrangement.
- A new template: Perhaps the marriage suffered from a lack of communication. This collaborative approach may open new possibilities for unified parenting after the divorce is final.
Mediation isn’t appropriate for all family or legal situations, particularly in cases where there is domestic violence. However, smart couples also understand that the expense of a messy divorce leaves less money for the family as well as the upcoming expense of college tuition for the children. Each case is unique, but I often find that the pros outweigh the cons.