Mediation is a common way to resolve legal disputes. It has become more popular over the years because it provides many benefits compared to traditional litigation. But with its popularity has also come some misconceptions and misunderstandings. Here are a few things you should understand about mediation.
Mediation is Not A Type of Marriage Therapy
This is the topmost misconception people develop regarding mediators. There is a misunderstanding that you can hire a mediator as a therapist or marital counselor. A mediator’s job is to help guide parties through litigation. While this process is more amicable than litigation, it is not used to prevent marital separation. If you are seeing a mediator, you and your partner have already decided that separation is the best course of action, and are simply working out the particulars outside of a courtroom and without the need for a judge to decide who gets what.
Mediation is Not Used For Reconciliation
Although a mediator’s goal is for individuals to “get along” or “be professional” they are not looking to help repair a relationship. Once again, the goal of a mediator is not to address issues with a couple’s relationship but to help them reach an amicable conclusion. They are looking to help couples devise a win-win solution for both parties. Your mediator is there to help craft the details of your legal separation, not help you reconcile with your partner. In some cases, mediation is not even the ideal solution for a couple. If a couple cannot work together through the process of separation, litigation may be necessary.
Is Mediation a Waste Of Time?
This misconception stems from a misunderstanding of how mediation works. Individuals who believe that mediaiton is a step in a process towards a legal separtion may think that it could be a waste of time. In fact, mediation (when done correctly) actually saves a lot of time. Instead of waiting for time to go to court, working with multiple attorneys, and handling different stages of litigation, you are working with just one person. Your mediator can quickly schedule appointments, and help you and your partner create your agreement. Mediation only wastes time if a couple cannot work amicably. If a couple is incapable of working together or compromising, mediation may not be right for them.
Does Mediation Weaken My Case?
Many couples fear that mediation weakens their cases. Or fear that had they chosen traditional litigation they could have “gotten more”. The truth is, mediation does lead to outcomes that are designed by both parties. Many couples see this as a benefit over traditional litigation. In a traditional case, couples are at the mercy of what the court decides. It can be tempting to think you would be better off on your own, arguing your case before judge. However, mediation is the only process that ends when you agree to the outcome. A judge can can make a ruling that you are unhappy with, a mediator cannot.