As a Florida divorce lawyer who’s been representing men and women for more than twenty years, I can tell you that without a doubt, divorce cases which are resolved through a mediation process rather than litigation produce the happier outcomes for both sides. In a mediated divorce, both sides have the ability to discuss, negotiate, and compromise. That opportunity is not always available in a divorce proceeding that is litigated. Divorce litigation can become a zero sum game and neither party is happy with the result. So, if at all possible, mediation is the preferred route because it produces more agreeable results for both parties, in the majority of instances.
Now, of course, there is a caveat. If the soon to be former spouses are at each other’s throats and can’t agree on anything and can’t even stand the sight of one another, mediation won’t work. For mediation to be successful, both sides of the divorce proceeding must be willing and able to speak rationally with each other and be willing to compromise. If that isn’t the case, litigation may be the only route to resolve disputes that arise in any divorce case.
Besides the points I’ve already made in favor of mediation, there are a few additional benefits to be had in mediation. Mediation is usually cheaper and more cost effective. Litigation can become unwieldy and expensive especially when you consider attorney’s fees, expert witnesses, depositions, preparation of the case for trial, filing motions back and forth and many other things associated with divorce litigation. On the other hand, mediation expenses can be more accurately estimated. Also, mediation is much less formal than any litigation proceedings in front of a judge in a courtroom. Finally, mediation is confidential and private whereas divorce litigation is a public proceeding and a matter of court record. That record often includes the sordid airing of spousal grievances that become publicly accessible. Who wants that.
If you’re considering a divorce in the state of Florida, please feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation. The consult will give you a better idea of the process and what you may be facing given your particular circumstances.