No one chooses to divorce, it is actually forced upon you by your circumstances. But no matter why you are divorcing, you have the opportunity to control the divorce process.
Whether you choose to ‘take control” or “turn over that control”
to lawyers and judges is completely up to you and your spouse.
Couples who are able to maintain self control despite all of their urges to lash out, can save a great deal of money and time by utilizing the mediation process to resolve family disputes.
1. Control. In mediation, the participants maintain control over the process and the outcome. Rather than turning everything over to lawyers and judges, you decide how fast mediation moves forward and you decide what the goal of the mediation process is. Will you divorce or merely agree to a trial separation? Will you share control of your family home or will it be sold? Will the children sleep in your home or will they stay with Grandpa and Grandma this summer? All of those questions are decided by you and your spouse, not turned over to a judge who you know nothing about. Moreover, you are not stuck in mediation once you start. You can choose to end mediation and move on with an alternative legal processes at any time. You are in control!
2. Cheap. Do the math…your can pay one divorce attorney-mediator to work with both of you in divorce mediation. Or you can each pay your own divorce attorney their retainer and hourly rate to talk at each other and then tell you what the other attorney said. Those attorney fees add up fast!
3. Fast. The typical traditional divorce case in Oregon goes to final trial eight to twelve months after it is filed with the court. Divorce Mediation cases are often settled and signed by a judge within weeks of starting the mediation process. Why? Because judges are very busy and under-staffed. There just are not enough judges to hear all the cases brought to them by all the couples seeking divorce. In mediation, however, their is no trial. The mediated final agreement is signed by the parties outside the court house and delivered to the judge who merely has to review and sign the mediated final agreement during office hours.
4. Tailored. Divorce trials end in decisions reached by judges who only know of you and your family what they glean from the arguments made by your divorce attorney. Evidence rules and legal procedure prevent the judge from sitting down with you and your spouse to tailor a divorce arrangement that meets your needs and those of your children. Instead, judges are forced to impose boilerplate type rules on you and your family based upon the very limited information allowed under the rules of evidence. Divorce mediation cuts through the red tape and works to assure all the facts are known and considered so that you and your children are protected.
5. Privacy: Divorce mediation is a private process, unlike litigation which plays out in a public courtroom. Further, discovery and court rules in litigation generate very public documents that include allegations of bad acts by one another (your family’s “dirty laundry,”) financial details of your life as well as very private things about your children. All of that remains private in mediation.
6. Preservation of Relationships: Maintaining a working relationship after divorce is often important to clients, especially when children are involved. Try to imagine working with the other parent after your divorce if he or she has “drug your family through the mud” publically in court. Sometimes tough things must be said when ending a relationship. But in mediation those tough things are said in private and in a way that is designed to maintain everyone’s dignity.
7. Client Satisfaction. Divorce mediation participants report much higher degrees of satisfaction with the divorce process compared to traditional litigation clients. Even if litigants are satisfied with the outcome of a case, they are often dissatisfied with the cost, stress, uncertainty and acrimony associated with litigation. Mediation participants often site 1) the privacy of their discussions, 2) the speed at which a resolution is obtained and 3) the ability to be heard as the three main reasons for recommending divorce mediation to their friends.