You control the outcome.
One would think that the single biggest reason to mediate a divorce is that, on average, it is extremely less expensive than litigation. But, the #1 reason to mediate is CONTROL. In mediation you control the outcome. In court, a judge controls the outcome. As a trial attorney with 1000s of cases under my belt, I am always 100% in support of mediation as an alternative to court litigation. A mediated agreement may not give you all of what you wanted, but you have the satisfaction of knowing you controlled the outcome and did not leave anything to chance.
You get your time to voice your position.
If you find yourself in court, everything you say is on the record. Clients are often hesitant to really say what they mean (and for good reason) when in court. When you testify, it is the truth and nothing but the truth. In mediation, all discussions kept within the mediation session. Those discussions are not admissible in court. My clients have repeatedly told me that they felt better after mediation sessions because they said what was on their minds without fear of being boxed into a corner later. Second, digging deeper into the reasons you or your spouse is taking a strict negotiating stance aids in narrowing issues and reaching lasting agreements.
You get to engage in mediation sessions at your speed.
If you seek mediation prior to commencing a divorce action, we will schedule the mediation sessions at the pace you wish to go. In court, we are bound by the court’s scheduling orders. If you need more time to think, reflect, gather information or cool off, we can easily accommodate you in mediation. Not so much in court.
Because we seek first to come to resolution, we can dispense with many of the formalities involved when we have to go to court. Most couples have a very good idea of what his or her spouse has in terms of assets and liabilities. Because of that, we can often reach agreements in principal in the first couple of sessions. In court, it takes months to get to that point.