Why Divorce Mediation?
Divorce Mediation, unlike politics, is the art of impossible. In family mediation, the mediator enters a dispute long after it has solidified and the parties have become entrenched in their respective positions. Unlike arbitration and adjudication where a decision is imposed upon the parties, in divorce mediation, although the process is controlled by the mediator, the content is controlled by the parties themselves. They make the decisions and don't sign any settlement unless they agree to it. It is most empowering and satisfying to be in control of major decisions that impact the rest of one's life such as these.
Because Ms. Shapiro is familiar with the law and the outcome of most divorces before they even enter into the court room, she is qualified in explaining to the client of how your case would probably be decided in a court of law. (And about the legal consequences of any decisions you make). Unfortunately many couples engaged in divorce proceedings regard themselves as adversaries on opposing sides of a battlefield. This perspective nurtures and keeps the fight alive endlessly, and causes tremendous emotional drain and derailment of their personal and professional ambitions. Divorce mediation helps them see the divorce as dissolution of a partnership and allows them to focus on issues rather than combat. An entire divorce settlement can be mediated in 6-8 weeks which in the litigation arena takes a minimum of 18 months to two years.
In an adversarial divorce, parties often focus their energy on what they don't want the other to have and in most cases have sacrifice their own interests. Divorce mediation coaches parties in identifying their own needs and interests, and helps them satisfy those needs to the greatest degree possibility. In court settlements, often one party wins at the expense and loss of the other which causes further resentment and anger. Divorce mediation provides integrated and comprehensive agreements which are fair and equitable in which neither side loses. This is because in divorce mediation all issues are dealt with together and are at times inter-traded in order to create a finely tuned settlement, e.g. capital gains issue.
In cases where there are children, whether the parties like it or not they will continue facing each other periodically for the rest of their lives at events such as graduations, at weddings, when grandchildren arrive etc. It is important therefore that the parties recognize, that despite the fact that their spousal roles are terminating, their parenting roles will continue. Divorce mediation focuses not on whether each party will be involved in parenting but rather how each party will be involved. This is very reassuring for the parties and allows a co-parenting relationship to continue.
Divorce Mediation is Confidential:
Another advantage of divorce mediation is confidentiality, what you say during divorce mediation cannot legally be revealed outside the divorce mediation proceedings or used later in a court of law. By contrast, one of the drawbacks of going to court is that everything said or submitted in connection with a lawsuit, aside from settlement negotiations, becomes available to the public. Only by a special order of a judge can information be "sealed" from public exposure. So whether your desire is to protect your trade secrets or just to avoid airing your "dirty laundry" in public, your privacy will be much better preserved in divorce mediation than with litigation. Divorce mediation is confidential with an exception where a criminal act or child abuse is involved.
- Is private
- A voluntary process where an impartial person facilitates communication between parties
- Does not involve a decision by the mediator.
- Promotes communication
- Promotes cooperation and restoration of relationships
- Is confidential
At Shapiro Mediation, you make your own decisions--the mediator doesn't make them for you.
Neutrality also means that the mediator can't be a legal representative of either side. Therefore, neither party's lawyer can act as mediator. Your attorney's job is to safeguard your interests, he is by definition biased in your favor.
Neutrality also means that the mediator can't give legal advice, even if she's an attorney. However having an attorney mediator makes a much better mediator because they are familiar with the law and have a better understanding of what is equitable.