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Benefits of Mediating vs Litigating

 

Mediation

Litigation

Rate
$300-$350/hour for mediation time (shared between parties)
Document preparation and Court fees: $1500-$2200.
 
Average total: $3,250-$6,500
Average rate for attorneys $450-$750/hour (for each party)
Varying costs including time off work and attorneys attending to adjourn or update cases $????
Average total: $30,000 – $50,000 per person
Time Involved
Average time: 4-7 months (depends on needs of couple)
Average time: 2 years (depends on court schedule)
Tone of process
Informal cooperative business meeting
Formal, adversarial
Role of the law
Neutral legal information provided by mediator, but no legal representation given
Legal advice and legal representation given by counsel
Impact on children
Children’s interests are central to decision making; interim agreements possible
Children often become “pawns” in the battle between spouses
Voluntary compliance with child support agreements
National figures around 80%
 
 
 
National figures around 40%
Emotional cost to parties
Allows for healthy airing of parties views, emotions and beliefs
More comfortable, cooperative
Allows for personalized solutions and agreements
Increases participants anxiety and stress levels encourages adversarial mind set
Little opportunity to address concerns
Gives decision making to someone else
 
Impact on communication
Promotes improved communication.
Creates mutual understanding and sets stage for joint decision making.
Encourages personal responsibility
Discourages direct communication.
Sets stage for future disagreements and possible court appearances
 
Decision Making
Clients make their own decisions
 
3rd parties (judges and attorneys) make decisions
Confidentiality
Discussions and financial information are confidential
Hearings are open to the public
Financial information is part of the public record
Usually no court appearances
 
Several court appearances