By: Leslie Barrows
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5 reasons to give mediation a chance
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process with several benefits to the parties to divorce who take advantage of the opportunity to come to agreement on certain terms of the divorce so that the truly contested issues may be better defined. Parties to a divorce may elect to take part in mediation and as well the court may order mediation during the state of pre-trial negotiation. The alternative to mediation may be the attorneys corresponding back and forth to come to agreement on certain issues, or proceeding in the regular course of litigation and resolving otherwise agreeable issues in court. Alternatively, mediation can save everyone’s time and resources so that the litigation process can be limited to the strongly contested issues, such as child custody. Many attorneys are trained and certified in mediation, where their role is not to zealously advocate, but to facilitate the dispute resolution process. In this article, we highlight five benefits of settling agreeable issues in mediation.
5 reasons to give mediation a chance:
- Instead of focusing on the past, look to the future;
When in divorce court and in divorce litigation pleadings, the allegations and focus are on what already happened and what it may mean in the divorce. Mediation is different because the focus is on what each party really wants and needs to move forward. A short conversation can lead to an understanding about what means the most to each party in the divorce.
- Increase goodwill and commit to positive relations with your soon-to-be ex;
During a mediation, the parties are present with their lawyers and the mediator in a neutral setting in which they can all work together. Observing one another discussing issues that may be settled out of court can lead to better feelings and avoid the situation where they are otherwise reading court documents and imagining the worst intentions of someone they previously loved and married.
- Flexible and creative problem-solving processes make mediation adaptive;
Mediation does not need to follow a specific and limited procedure. Different mediators use unique approaches to talk about the reality of the divorce process to drive people to understanding their bottom line and what issues are most important and which can be negotiated and settled.
- Parties in mediation can speak directly to negotiate agreeable issues;
In traditional pre-trial litigation, negotiations take place among the lawyers and their clients in an adversary process. If one party has a question about why the other is seeking possession of certain property or alleging assets are not part of the community property, the other may only respond through their attorney. In mediation, however, you can ask the other party right then and there if what they seek is a top priority or something they may be able to negotiate.
- Participants save time and money.
The amount of correspondence back and forth during the pre-trial discovery and litigation process can absorb significant time and resources. Likewise, resolving contested issues in court can lead to increased time and expense. Mediation saves the parties time, and time is money. In a few hours or sessions of mediation, the parties can reach and sign an agreement that resolves the agreeable issues so that the focus in litigation can be the top priority issues to which the parties absolutely cannot come to an agreement.
To learn more about mediation and how the alternative dispute resolution process may be a fit in your divorce, contact The Barrows Firm for additional information.
If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., attorneys and mediators, please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.
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