Most people assume that all family law issues have to be handled in a court of law. However, issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, divorce, or other family law issues, could be handled through mediation instead. Mediation allows both parties to work together to reach a compromise for their situation, rather than turning to a judge to make that decision for them. When both parties agree to mediate, they can schedule their own meetings with their respective lawyers and a third-party mediator. During those meetings, they can discuss the issue at hand and reach a compromise, which they will then make legally binding.
There are several reasons why mediation could be a beneficial choice, which is why it is important to consider all aspects of the mediation process before you make a decision. If you are dealing with a divorce or another type of family legal dispute, make sure you find out how mediation could benefit you.
You Retain Control
When you choose to use a mediator to resolve your legal dispute, you and the other party retain full control of the situation. Through litigation, each party will make their case before a judge, who will ultimately have the power to make any decisions. Even if both parties oppose the judge’s decision, the decision will stand unless the parties go back to court to revisit the issue. With mediation, however, both parties can negotiate as long as they wish until they reach an agreement both parties are okay with. If both parties and their lawyers are unable to find a feasible solution, the mediator can volunteer suggestions and implement potential negotiation tactics to help move the process along.
Because you have control of the mediation process, you also have a fair amount of control over how long it will take. There are far fewer people involved in the mediation process, which makes finding time to meet much easier. Also, you will not have court schedules to contend with, as you would if you chose litigation. If you are able to settle everything after only one meeting with your lawyers and mediators, the lawyers can continue to draw up the appropriate paperwork, allowing you and your spouse, ex-spouse, or co-parent to move on with your lives more quickly.
You will still need to pay your attorney and a mediator, but the fees are usually much more affordable than they would be if you chose to handle your case through litigation. The court process takes longer, and is often more complex, which means you will need an attorney’s services for longer, thus making it more expensive for you in the long run.
The mediation process is intended to encourage opposing parties to work together to find a workable solution. Litigation tends to pit people and families against one another, whereas the mediation process fosters open communication and amicable negotiation tactics. When utilizing mediation, opposing parties often experience less tension and deal with fewer arguments.
Most cases that go through the court are a matter of public record, which means your divorce case or child custody matter could be accessible to the public. To avoid this, you could ask the court to conceal your information, or you could go through mediation. Whether you’re in the public eye, own a local business, or simply value your privacy, keeping your legal information contained can be extremely important. Everything handled through the mediation process is handled in complete confidence, shared only between yourself, the other party, the mediator, and your respective lawyers. So, if you choose to go through with the mediation process, you can rest easy knowing that your personal information is safe from prying eyes.
Make it Easier for Your Kids
As we mentioned, the mediation process can encourage opposing parties to work together toward their common goal- a peaceful resolution. By minimizing the tension, you can make things much easier for your children. Whether you’re dealing with a divorce, child custody modification, or relocation issue, mediation can help you resolve your problem quickly and without too much contention, giving you more time with your kids. Also, this means you will likely have a better, more peaceful relationship with your children’s other parent, which can make drop-offs and other interactions easier for your kids.
If you are dealing with a divorce or other type of family legal matter, our firm can help you. Not everyone can resolve a legal issue through mediation. In fact, more contentious couples or individuals who cannot agree about central issues regarding their legal dispute should probably go with traditional litigation. However, if you are able to agree about some of the major issues of child custody, child support, or other aspects of your divorce or family law issue, mediation might be the ideal choice for you.
Contact K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. to discuss your case with our Palm Harbor divorce attorneys, today.