"Mediation, there is no way we could do mediation!" We have heard this from clients time and time again. People feel that in order to get divorced, it has to be litigated in court. However, we have seen success with mediation, even in the most complex cases. We wanted to debunk some of the major myths mediation:
- Myth #1: We have to be friends. While it would be nice if we could all get along easily, it isn't really necessary. In fact, some people go through mediation without even being in the same room at the same time. The Truth: You have to be willing to communicate about the issues, compromise, and come to a resolution.
- Myth #2: We have kids. Custody battles have to be handled in court. That is the classic example of a terrible divorce: the long, drawn out custody battle. Yet, when we mediate couples, we can come up with a custody/visitation plan, which can be changed in the future. The Truth: Having kids is all the more reason to do mediation. It is less traumatic for them and easier for both parents.
- Myth #3: Mediators take sides. The idea of having an attorney represent you in court is so that you know someone is on your side. You want an advocate. The Truth: A good mediator does not take sides and remains neutral. The mediator does not make decisions for you. A good mediator informs both parties about the law and possible solutions so that you can come to a decision that is fair.
- Myth #4: We already started litigation so it is too late to mediate. You hired an attorney and are collecting all of your financial information. You might believe that the path has been chosen and you must stay the course to finish. The Truth: Litigation can stop at any time so that you can try to work out the issues through mediation. You can choose to mediate part of your divorce, such as custody/visitaiton, or mediate all aspects of your divorce. If you cannot reach an agreement through mediation, you can go back to litigation at any time. You are never stuck.
- Myth #5: Mediation will take too long. It will be faster to just let the judge decide. In the mediation process, you meet with your mediator as many times as necessary to resolve the issues. This may take one session, or several, depending upon the number and complexity of your case. Most couples have a complete resolution on all issues after just 2 sessions. In most cases, mediation can resolve your issues before you would even be able to get a court hearing. The Truth: Statistically, mediation takes less time than divorce. If you hire an attorney, even if you settle out of court, there are so many variables, it is very hard to predict when your divorce will be finalized. While you might think you want a judge to decide, wouldn't you rather decide?
If you have more questions about how mediation can help you, please give us a call. The biggest factor in making a good decision is to have all of the information.