While mediation has been around as a profession for over twenty years, it has only become mainstream in the last 5 years or so. One reason for this, I believe, is due to the cost of attorneys. Attorneys fees continue to rise making it difficult for even the wealthy to afford a reputable attorney these days. But iI would like to believe it is more than that. I would like to believe that as a culture, people are becoming less antagonistic and more amicable…well… at least in the field of family law and families in general. I realize it would be a gross overstatement to say people are becoming less litigious in all areas, but it does seem that in the area of divorce, this may be the case.
After watching family and friends suffer through years of misery through an overly crowded court system, one that is terribly broken to begin with, only to come out the other end no better (actually, often worse) then they went in, people have begun to wonder…is there a better way.
In steps mediation. YES, there is a better way. A more affordable way. A happier way. A way that puts ALL of the decision making power in your hands, not in the courts hands. A way that can cut the length of time down to mere months, rather than the typical 3-4 years a litigated divorce may take. However, it is also a way that requires a lot from its participants as well. You need to be invested in resolving your disputes fairly, whatever “fair” means to you and your partner. You need to be aware that mediation is not a form of litigation. It is an entirely different process that offers many different avenues to resolve your disputes. It can be an amazing experience for you and your family. One that transcends you into your new lives in a very positive way, rather than leaving you broke (financially and emotionally), tired, cynical and angry.
It is important set realistic expectations when beginning mediation. We will do this for you in the very beginning to ensure you understand what your mediators role is and what your role is. More importantly, to make sure you are not expecting mediation to play out the way litigation would, just in a smaller arena. If you come into this process expecting to “stick it to” your partner, you will be very disappointed. That is not what this process offers.
If you would like to learn more about the process we offer and how it differs from that of litigation, or even other mediation firms in town, please give us a contact West Coast Family Mediation Center to schedule your FREE consultation.
by: Amanda Singer