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How Mediation Creates Fair Agreements

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Posted 03/19/2017 11:05:26
Category: Divorce Mediation

Many people facing divorce think, "Only by going to court can I guarantee getting the best deal out of this divorce. No way am I going to mediate."

What many don’t realize is the courts aren’t able to meet your particular needs – that’s not the court’s goal or purpose. Judges, try as they might, can't possibly take into account the uniqueness of each spouse, your individual children, and your particular situation. And the cost - $25,000 to $50,000 per spouse. On the other hand, the goal of mediation is to create the best arrangement possible for all involved – and mediation is very effective in accomplishing that goal. And the cost - $3,000 to $5,000 per spouse.

As a society we have come to rely on a system that by its very adversarial and combative process leaves destruction and devastation in its wake – destruction and devastation of the already strained relationship between spouses who may have to continue working together as they parent their children, or even if children are not involved, will have to move forward with their lives; destruction and devastation of a couple’s financial resources; and destruction and devastation of a couple’s most valuable resource - time. The hours wasted are lost forever. As divorce litigation spins out of control and takes on a life of its own the less sense it makes, the more expensive it becomes, and the more emotions become escalated and inflamed. 

Over my past 27 years as a professional mediator, I have seen how mediation makes it possible for parents to make important parenting decisions that are generally not addressed in court. Mediation effectively allows spouses to address the challenges they face. How can mediation solve a problem where one spouse sees it one way and the other sees in entirely differently? If there’s no agreement, you might think that mediation won’t work. On the contrary, mediation works especially well when there is disagreement. When both spouses participate in crafting the future, the plan they devise with the guidance of the mediator becomes customized to their needs.

In 27 years I have rarely seen a divorce situation that is not well-served by mediation, and yet I continue to hear that mediation is only appropriate in certain limited situations. Guess who’s offering that guidance – it’s not professional mediators, but attorneys, well-meaning friends and family, who generally have no idea how mediation works, but think they do. Any couple considering divorce should consider mediation. Talk with an experienced mediator and learn about an alternative that will save you time, money, and allow you to stay in control.

Examples:

1. A couple wants a fair and equitable division of property and finances. One believes that a 50/50 split would accomplish that goal. The other wants to continue to reside in the marital home above all else. The marital home has significant equity. They have no minor children. 

2. A couple wants a fair and equitable division of property and finances. They have future financial changes that will occur in less than 10 years when the husband retires. The wife wants to relocate. Each wants to be able to live through his and her retirement years in relative financial security and peace of mind and each wants that for the other. Certain emotional, extended family ties are imposing restrictions on the decisions the couple must make. How can they reach a fair settlement? 

3. A couple wants a fair and equitable division of property and finances. They have children. Both want the children to be able to remain in the marital home. The wife has been a stay-at-home mother who now intends to rejoin the workforce, but at a salary insufficient to meet the household budget. Husband is willing to keep the kids in the marital home, but wants a financial offset for the equity in the House (they can’t afford to refinance because the payments will be too much for the wife). 

All successfully resolved in mediation.

 


Convenient to Northern Virginia, Mulford Mediation serves the following areas:

Bristow, Chantilly, Herndon, Reston, Centreville, Fairfax, Springfield, Vienna, Tysons Corner, Fair Oaks, Gainesville, Haymarket, Manassas, Fredericksburg, Winchester, Middleburg, Woodbridge, Dumfries, Oakton, Falls Church, McLean, Sterling, Front Royal, Leesburg, Quantico, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Culpeper, Dulles, Brambleton, South Riding, Arlington, Annandale, Warrenton, Marshall, Bealton, Dunn Loring, Great Falls, Merrifield, Lees Corner, Oak Hill, Manassas Park, Manassas City, Fauquier County, Culpeper County, Rappahannock County, Prince William County, Fairfax County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Clarke County, and Orange County.

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