January 26, 2010

Divorce Mediation Benefits

The courtroom is not the only path to a good resolution. Divorce mediation is a wise choice in most cases. I recently made an appearance in a county which allows for hearings on temporary custody and parenting time before the parties mediate.  The opposing attorney had filed for temporary custody without asking for mediation. We asked the opposing attorney to mediate prior to the hearing, but they refused. I would have been happy to meet in our conference room and talk about some creative solutions to the problem, but they refused.  Rather than mediate or negotiate, a hearing was held. The result was substantially worse for the moving party than they expected, and perhaps even than they could have reached in mediation. Rather than a cooperative solution being reached voluntarily, the court imposed a decision on the parties that was harmful to the moving party.

Good divorce lawyers are dispute resolution experts. They are trained in negotiation, cooperative face to face meetings, collaborative law, mediation, and have trial skills. When asking a lawyer questions before you hire them, make sure to ask about how they resolve disputes. If court is the primary answer, you may be wise to look elsewhere.