Mediation or Litigation?
Litigation is the traditional divorce process. Both parties hire attorneys, who provide legal advice and represent their client in negotiations and court hearings. This model is adversarial -- each attorney advocates positions based on the personal wants, needs and viewpoints of their client. The parties communicate mainly through their attorneys, rather than directly with each other, regarding their positions, proposals and counter-proposals. Mediation is an alternative to the traditional, adversarial process of litigation. It provides a way to work out a fair, legally enforceable settlement while keeping your divorce from becoming a bitter, endless, expensive war.
In divorce mediation at the Sussex County Mediation Center, the team of Pamela Lutz, Mediator and Alternate Dispute Resolution Specialist, and Michael F. Rehill, a retired Judge of the Municipal Court with substantial experience in divorce litigation, provide balanced mediation to insure both parties a fair and reasonable resolution without the expense of litigation. They do not provide legal advice. As neutral mediators, they lead negotiations relating to separation, divorce, child custody, support, alimony, visitation, health insurance, family home and division of property without the high cost or constant threat of going to Court.
Most litigated divorces are eventually settled, but substantial time, money and emotion has been spent in the meantime. In addition, parties often find later that they are dissatisfied with the outcome. They are likely to return to court in the future to change the outcome or resolve disputes.
In mediation, the mediator, an impartial neutral professional trained to work out disagreements and reduce conflict, helps you and your spouse to work out a fair divorce agreement covering such issues as: asset and debt division, spousal support, child support, parenting, and tax implications. At the Sussex County Mediation Center, the team of Pamela L. Lutz, and Michael F. Rehill, often work as a team, in what is known as ‘co-mediation.'
We are neutrals. We work for both of you. You may consult with a lawyer of your own — who represents just you — as often as you like during mediation.
There is never pressure to settle. The mediation is finished only when you are completely comfortable with your agreement. The mediator won't force a settlement on you, nor will a judge or other outsider.
Mediation puts "you" in control of your divorce. You make the decisions. Mediation is confidential and saves you money. You can avoid up to 90% of the legal fees normally spent in divorce litigation through mediation.
Mediation has been used successfully by thousands of divorcing couples. Especially during these hard financial times, mediation should be seriously considered.
People choose mediation for a variety of reasons, including:
To avoid high legal fees - Most mediated divorces cost far less than litigated divorces.
To keep children out of the middle - Mediation's focus is on problem solving, not fighting. This helps you avoid fights that upset your children. Most couples who mediate become better at both communication and parenting, as they restructure their relationship.
To avoid Court battles - Mediation saves you from enduring nasty fighting and endless Court prodecures.
To keep control - In mediation, you control every decision affecting your family, money, and life. You never give up control to strangers and mediation is confidential.
Results - A recent statistically significant study proved that settlements are similar in mediated and non-mediated divorces.
Compliance with Agreements - Research indicates that mediated agreements are most often observed, avoiding future problems.
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