Why mediation is usually less expensive than litigation
Divorce-related legal issues come in an array of complexities and frustrations and typically conjure scenes of years-long court battles over property, children visitation, and other issues. At some point your particular scenario will likely require mediation or litigation. Both options have their pros and cons, along with accompanying time frames and expense. However, mediation is generally a far less volatile method of resolving disputes and if a couple can agree or at least compromise on certain issues; they can reach a solution in amicable and affordable ways.
While litigation has its place, the fact is it is expensive and in large part inefficient. Cases draw out for weeks or months, quickly ramping up a client’s final bill. Some cases result in trials and involve substantial bickering and are adversarial, with one clear winner and one loser. Mediation on the other hand is an alternative to formal court processes. Mediation can be voluntary in nature or court-ordered and allows Michigan couples a less contentious means to resolution.
In fact, the clear trend in recent years is a drift away from resolution by trial. At last check, roughly 97 percent of civil cases are resolved through a type of mediation.
How it works
The mediation process starts with both parties and related attorneys selecting a mediator, or being assigned one through the courts. Both spouses will gather information and present the issues to their attorneys and mediator. Typical issues at hand include property division, spousal support, child custody and support, and parenting time. The mediator’s job is to help both parties communicate and clearly clarify the issues at play in a dedicated effort to reach a conclusion favorable to the couple.
Mediators are specifically trained in conflict resolution and will guide the process forward, ideally in productive and respectful ways. When both spouses reach an agreement, details are filed with the court. If an agreement is not reached, the case returns to a judge to decide.
Why mediation is a good choice
In addition to being less expensive, mediation has a host of other advantages:
- Mediation proceedings are informal and nearly always less stressful than litigation.
- It can be completed in far less time; usually in just one day.
- Mediation proceedings remain confidential, keeping sensitive information under wraps.
- Both parties have significant control over the final outcome. In contrast, courts stick to formal legalese without considering the needs and desires of the spouses.
- Mediation typically results in an amicable relationship after the divorce, which is almost unheard of when contentious court battles ensue.
Do your homework
Divorce is a high-stakes event and each case requires due diligence to ensure appropriate actions are taken. Mediation often results in a positive outcome but it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. To reach the best possible outcome for both parties, make a point to partner with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with a successful track record in divorce-related mediation processes.
For more information on managing mediation and litigation, contact The Gucciardo Law Firm today at (248) 723-5190.
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