The greatest benefit of mediation is that it allows the parties to retain privacy and control throughout the course of the process. Mediation allows you to participate and contribute to the ultimate decision. The process is designed to facilitate communication and minimize conflict. A skilled mediator is an important part of the process. The mediator should have the legal knowledge necessary to frame the issues and the training to help the parties explore options.
An important component of collaborative law is the fact that the lawyers are engaged for “limited purpose representation,” which means they will only represent their client with the goal of reaching a settlement. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement and have to resort to litigation, then both parties will have to engage different lawyers. This procedure keeps the lawyer focused on his client’s needs and all of the parties focused on settlement.
Arbitration is a faster, more economical alternative to litigation, even in large, complex family law cases. When you choose arbitration, you know you will have a final resolution in a reasonable amount of time. The procedure and rules of evidence are much more relaxed than in the court system. Not being subject to the court’s calendar saves you money by not having to pay attorneys’ fees for that period of time, which can end up being tens of thousands of dollars.