Mediation is a method of dispute resolution whereby an independent third party facilitates an agreement between divorcees. The mediator does not make any decisions, nor seek to advance or protect either party’s interest, they merely aid the parties in assembling their own agreement, the terms of which the parties decide with or without the advice of their own attorney.
Advantages to Mediation
a. The parties can reduce expenses incurred during negotiations by both paying one person, the mediator. Each party is however strongly advised to retain an attorney to meet with independently during the course of the mediation.
b. The parties have complete control over the manner and timetable in which the agreement is reached.
c. Negotiations can occur prior to the filing of any pleadings with the court, allowing the parties to focus on the issues without fielding allegations about one another.
d. Mediation is a non-adversarial process, which many find eases the parties’ post-divorce relationship.
Disadvantages to Mediation
a. The financial disclosures made by a spouse are not subject to the same scrutiny for falsity or omissions as they are during a litigation process.
b. There is no opportunity to present testimony from third parties.
c. In a mediation conducted without attorneys, the parties miss the opportunity to have a personal advocate directly involved in the negotiation process.