In a Divorce, Expect Better Outcomes from Mediation Than From a Trial
By Orlando Divorce Attorney Eduardo J. Mejias
Practicing Exclusively Family Law Since 2011
Most Divorces Are Mediated
While I have participated in over one hundred divorce trials, the number of divorce mediations I have been involved in are over three hundred. These numbers result from these two facts: (1) almost all family law cases entail at least one mediation because they are required by law before going to trial, and (2) the majority of disputes in divorce and paternity cases do not result in a trial because of the considerable advantages of settling their at the mediation table.
Why You Should Expect Mediation to Results in Better Outcomes Than a Trial
Mediations Have a Venue and Settings More Conducive to Achieving a Settlement
First, the divorcing couple and their family law attorneys are finally present in one room with no distractions. The mediation forum presents the first opportunity for all of the players in the case to discuss openly the prospect of settling their disputes. In comparison, negotiations through e-mails and phone calls are inefficient and unreliable.
Second, the confidentiality that is bestowed upon the discussions that take place in a mediation allows the parties to make offers and concessions without fear of their statements being used against them later in court.
And finally, the mediator, unlike a judge is actively seeking to bridge the divide between the parties and facilitate a resolution. It is easy to forget that mediators cannot take sides or order the parties to do anything. They remain completely neutral throughout the mediation. However, skilled mediators can subtly nudge one stubborn litigant into compromising enough to forge a settlement. Not all mediators possess this skill, though. This explains why experienced divorce lawyers prefer using mediators that they have successfully worked with before.
Mediation is More Enforceable, Less Expensive and Less Risky
Another reason to mediate a divorce is that it always results in a more enforceable and less expensive outcome. It is more enforceable because when both parties contribute to the terms of a mediated agreement, they feel more invested in it than they would a ruling from a family law judge.
The peace of mind that results in finality, combined with the money saved from not having to pay a trial retainer, also convinces most family law litigants to settle at their mediations.
Finally, the appeal of risk-avoidance cannot be overstated. Even seasoned family law attorneys like myself cannot precisely predict how a judge will rule. Settling at the mediation table saves litigants from the anxiety that surrounds this uncertainties of a trial.
For all of these reasons, in the great majority of cases mediations result in better outcomes than taking going to trial; and every possible effort should be made to settle during mediation.
Call AAA Family Law For An Initial Consultation
If you need representation from an Orlando divorce attorney please call me, Eduardo J. Mejias at (407) 260-6001 and make an appointment for an initial consultation.
At this consultation I will ask you to explain your situation and set forth a set of realistic goals and a plan of action to achieve your goals. Then I will quote you the lawyer retention fee we will charge at AAA Family Law for representing you in your case. Almost always, this will be a fixed (or flat) fee and you will know it before paying or signing any contract. Here is the range of attorney retainer fees for divorce cases.
Contested Divorce Up To Mediation: $2,000 to $3,000. (An additional retainer amount is set before a trial if there is a trial.)