Mediation as an Alternative to the Traditional Divorce Process
If you have concluded that your marriage cannot be saved, but you want to maintain a positive relationship with your ex-spouse, or you simply want to resolve your disputes with a minimum of anger or bitterness, divorce mediation may be your best alternative.
In mediation, instead of engaging in an adversarial process, you work with a third party neutral, who is tasked with helping you and your ex-spouse identify mutually beneficial solutions to your differences. The mediator does not represent either party, and does not have any vested interest in the outcome, but will work cooperatively with both of you to help you identify what you need, and brainstorm about ways that you can both get what you need, if possible.
Mediation is not a legal proceeding and the mediator does not make determinations regarding the outcome of the mediation. Accordingly, the mediator does not listen to or weigh any legal arguments, and does not consider testimony from witnesses. The mediator helps you stay focused on the potential costs if you can’t find ways to amicably resolve your disputes.
The cooperative focus of mediation carries many benefits. First, unlike a trial or court proceeding, you get to participate in the resolution of your dispute. You don’t have to wait for a judge or a jury to decide whether your arguments were compelling. You can make an offer to settle, and you can always reject any proposal from your ex-spouse.
Because mediation doesn’t consider legal arguments, there is no need for extensive and expensive discovery—depositions, private investigations, document review. You’ll have the chance to tell your side of the story to the mediator, but only so the mediator can help you move toward common ground. So mediation is almost always more cost effective than the traditional divorce process.
Additionally, mediators generally have “dockets” that are far less crowded than the courts. You can usually complete a mediation in a couple months, so your divorce doesn’t have to drag out interminably.
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.