How Mediation Works in Family Law

When people say, “Family Law,” they are referring to the area of the law that deals with family relationships. This covers everything from Divorce to Child Custody to Spousal Support (Alimony) and more. Family Law matters can be handled by litigation and by mediation.

The Divorce Battle: Litigation

The idea of ‘Divorce’ brings up memories of famous public divorce battles or those in the movies. Those cases involve litigation and trial attorneys — very expensive trial attorneys — with a long, drawn out, messy feud that results on both parties coming out of it damaged, both claiming victory but both feeling defeated. Unfortunately, that is the traditional model of divorce — each spouse hiring their own attorneys and “going to the races,” so to speak.

Divorce Mediation: Cooperation

The way that mediation works in Family Law is by having both spouses working together with one mediator in professional mediation sessions designed to come to a fair agreement between both parties. With Affordable Mediation, the sessions are guided by a mediator who is also trained in psychological counseling and has the emotional welfare of both parties in mind as part of the process.

How It Works

A Divorce Mediator is a neutral third party whose focus and objective is to help couples reach a fair agreement. This offers up the opportunity to get creative with solutions, as spouses are right there in the room with the mediator. It’s also a great way to keep emotions under control and ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal rather than trying to prevent the other from “winning.”

The Experience

There is also very limited to no time spent in a court setting. Mediation Sessions take place in a comfortable, professional office setting, not in a courtroom. The only time you might spend at a courthouse is to file the final paperwork at the filing counter, which typically takes about 5 – 10 minutes..

Here are some other key differences between family law litigation and family law mediation:

  • Timeline: Mediation typically takes 3-5 months, where litigation can last years.
  • Cost: Mediation typically runs about $2900-3200. Litigation can cost $30,000-50,000 or more, and closer to $100,000 if you take your case to trial.

Is Family Law Mediation For You?

If your situation involves an abusive spouse, alcohol or substance abuse, or significantly unequal bargaining positions, Mediation may not be for you — don’t fret, we can connect you to a great litigation attorney. In most other cases, you’ll greatly benefit, emotionally and financially, from a professional, compassionate mediation session.

If you have questions, contact our office at 602-714-7447. Also, download our Divorce Mediation Checklist.