For years, I have heard statements touting the benefits of mediation. You may have heard:
“Mediation saves you money.”
“Mediation is less expensive than attorneys.”
“Mediation is better for your kids.”
“If you mediate, you don’t need to have an attorney.”
Each of these statements can be absolutely true. Each of these statements can also be absolutely false.
The thing that will ALWAYS save you money is to develop a way to work with your children’s other parent (or grandparent, or relative, etc.) so that you can talk through your problems and work together to resolve the problem.
If that is not possible, then it is ALWAYS true that lengthy court proceedings, trials, evidentiary hearings, motions, exhibits and witness lists will take their toll, emotionally and financially, on everyone involved, including your children.
Mediation is cost-effective because sometimes people just need to sit down in the same room with a professional and start working through the problems. The mediator’s job is to direct the discussion so that each party hears the other side’s concerns in a respectful manner so that everyone can work toward a solution.
Mediation can be expensive if you are paying your share of the mediator’s fees as well as paying your attorney to attend. The decision to have your attorney present is one that you must make. It might be that your attorney does not have to attend the session, but can be available by phone if you need to discuss a particular issue.
Mediation can be expensive if either side is not honest or does not make a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute. Mediation should be terminated by the mediator if it becomes apparent that one or both parties are not committed to the mediation process and resolving their differences.
Stacy Wright is a Rule 114 Qualified Neutral for Family Law, and can assist in your Minnesota mediation needs. Call: 763-244-1002 to schedule mediation today.
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