Divorces can range in time and expense.
The parties could have everything divided and agreed upon before hiring attorneys. Or the parties could fight all the way down to who gets the gravy boat. How well the parties can communicate plays a huge role in determining the best path to a resolution of all the divorce issues.
An alternative dispute resolution measure, such as mediation, is a good choice when the parties can communicate effectively. An experienced family law mediator can help the parties work through their issues and help the parties reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Mediation can occur over a short period of time and can be successfully completed with substantial cost savings compared to litigation.
When the parties are unable to communicate without hostility, however, the use of a judge to find a resolution through litigation is the best option. It would not be productive to try mediation when you know the other party is unwilling to reach a reasonable settlement. The push for mediation could be futile, and a failed mediation would only increase the overall costs of the divorce.
Although mediation can save on the cost of divorce versus litigation, if the mediation fails and you are forced to proceed with litigation, then there will be no cost saving realization. Therefore, prior to pursing mediation it is important to have a realistic understanding of both you and your spouse’s goals and the degree to which each of you is willing to compromise to reach those goals. If the answer ultimately suggests that a compromise isn’t likely, don’t waste your time and money advocating for mediation.