Remember that opening scene from the movie Wedding Crashers? Where the characters played by Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are mediating a divorce? (If you don't remember, here's your obligatory warning before you Google - the movie is rated R for a reason!) That scene is a favorite of mine because (a) it's hilarious, and (b) it gave me the idea to start asking clients to throw some frequent flyer miles my way (kidding!).
While I can't tell you that your divorce mediation would be quite as entertaining, there are a lot of advantages to mediation over traditional litigation. But, as with all things in life, there are disadvantages as well. If you decide to mediate there are still other questions to consider. For instance, what type of mediation would you prefer? There are three common types - facilitative, evaluative, and transformative - with the main difference being the level of involvement and role of the mediator. Do you want an attorney involved? If so, at what level of involvement - as a consultant, or as an advocate?
One thing is for sure, it's rare these days for any contested divorce matter to not involve some type of mediation during the process, whether it be a parenting conference, informal mediation, private mediation, or mediation ordered by the court. There's even a family law rule that states it is the duty of the parties involved to at least discuss mediation, and decide what type (if any) would be most appropriate for the case.
So, to mediate or not to mediate? If the answer is "to mediate", then which type is best for you? To give you the "lawyer" answer: it depends. Follow our blog series over the next few weeks and I'll go into more details about the pros and cons of mediation, the types of mediation, and how to best ensure a successful mediation.
Then, if you're still not sure (or if you're impatient and want your answer RIGHT NOW), give us a call at (480) 630-2464 to schedule your 30-minute free consultation, and we can better tell you what would work in your specific situation.