There are many reasons to choose mediation over litigation
Mediation saves time and money
Mediation is far less expensive than the cost of litigation. On average, divorce litigation costs each spouse $30,000 in legal fees, and many more couples find themselves spending a lot more. We are completely transparent when it comes to the upfront cost for all of our services, most of which are flat rate. Another big benefit of mediation is the time-saving factor. Mediation can be concluded in one or several sessions, unlike litigation, which can often take years to finish.
Mediation is gentler on you and your family
Litigation is a very stressful process for the entire family, especially the children. Children often end up involuntarily involved in the litigation process regardless of your best intentions to shield them. If you feel stress and anxiety, your children will feel it too. From the moment you enter mediation, you will realize that our entire process revolves around minimizing conflict and creating a more peaceful environment for you and your children.
Mediation is confidential and private
In California, anything that happens in mediation stays in mediation. The privacy of your family is something most people value. Although not often taken into consideration when getting a divorce, anything placed in your court file becomes public record. There are private matters from your marriage that could arise during court proceedings, and those matters will be made a public record in litigation.Your family members, friends, or associates could learn about them inadvertently. During mediation in California, everything remains 100% confidential and can never be used in a court proceeding without the permission of both parties.
You will remain in control
You will proceed with your divorce in the way that is right for you. While there is structure to the process that is managed by our mediators, if there are certain issues you wish to address first, or traditions that you wish to follow, we are happy to oblige. As long as both parties fully consent to how they want to proceed, we are glad to make those accommodations. We take the time to understand what you want and work with you to make this your process. While your mediator will ensure that everything is done correctly and will be there to guide the process, you ultimately decide how long your mediation takes, how often we meet, and what you would like to discuss. Your mediator will make sure that any mandatory factors and decisions that are legally required will be made part of the discussion.
You can achieve long-term resolution in mediation
The vast majority of cases that enter mediation are successful in reaching agreements out of court. And the parties involved tend to follow agreements reached in mediation far more often than those decided by a judge. This is because when you have the autonomy to create your own agreements, you are more satisfied, as they better fit your family’s lifestyle.
You will be be able to speak your mind
In mediation, while we ultimately focus on the future and moving forward, you will have the opportunity to tell your story if you both wish. This is your one chance—perhaps your only chance—to speak your mind and obtain true closure. In mediation, you must speak directly to each other rather than through your attorneys. When you litigate your case instead of mediating, you are playing a game of telephone through your legal counsel, which can make conflict worse. Not to mention you are paying several hundred dollars an hour each time there is a disagreement.
A Letter from Jennifer and Amanda
As mediators, it is not our job to advise you as to what you should or should not do. This is what an attorney would do in representing their clients. Instead, we help you explore, uncover, consider, and reflect. We act as guides, helping you discover rather than dictating what you should do and how you should do it.
As your mediator, it is our job to “clear away the debris”—to re-frame the problems you are trying to solve, raise the right questions for your consideration, and help guide you in your own thinking. We strongly believe in and encourage you to engage in self-determination. You will be asked to try out different ideas, experiment with different options, reality-test those ideas, and ultimately choose what’s best for you because you are the expert in your own life.
Mediation is not litigation. Too many mediators, especially those who formerly litigated cases, tend to make mediation a miniature litigation. This is not how the mediation process is supposed to work. We’re not here to be your expert on any one issue, but rather, to assist you in having those difficult conversations that come with any divorce and problem-solve to reach resolution. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for our clients, and we are well trained in how to help you discover what works best for you.
We are here to ensure that you both feel comfortable with all of the agreements made prior to finalizing the process. We will make sure that you receive specialized advice when necessary, by connecting you with one of the many experts we have available to answer all of your legal, financial, and emotional questions.