There is no guarantee what the result will be if your divorce gets decided in court. The judge will make a decision based upon the law ONLY – without taking into consideration any of the specific needs or preferences of either party. It is a gamble since you cannot be guaranteed any particular outcome – because you have no control over the process.
Having your “day in court” sounds like an empowering experience, yet it is actually an exercise in surrendering control over your own life. Instead of being able to advocate for yourself, it is your lawyer who speaks on your behalf. Together with your spouse’s lawyer, your representation will make arguments about your case to a complete stranger who nonetheless wields power over the rest of your life.
Only things deemed relevant will be decided by the court. For example, a common misconception is that if one spouse commits adultery, the other spouse will be awarded more more money in the financial arrangement. This is not true. All forms of support in New York State are determined by guidelines set by the legislature, and these guidelines must be adhered to.
In mediation, flexibility – rather than rigidity – is the norm. Parties are encouraged to share their reasoning behind the positions they take on the pertinent issues. Fears and anxieties can be brought to the table and treated with the gravity and respect due to them.
Mediation strategies can be applied to negotiations in all areas of life where conflict arises. An example of mediation in action can be found in the recent successful arbitration between the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the NHL’s Board of Governors. The deal ended a 113 day lock-out thanks to mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh, who is being lauded with steering the two parties through negotiations that have been described as “difficult” and “grueling.”
There are some issues, however, where mediation is not appropriate. If there has been violence between the parties, if there has been drug addiction or serious mental illness, mediation is not the way to go. It can only work when both parties are on equal footing and have the capacity to act rationally.
The takeaway for this post is simple:
Litigation means you are bound by the law and the decision of a Judge is based SOLELY on the law and nothing else.
Mediation allows you to be informed about the law and be able to make decisions based on your knowledge. Your final agreement is what YOU want, not what someone else tells you to do.
It’s been forty years since professionals in the financial, legal and mental health fields got together to create a different way to solve problems. Today, while mediation has helped millions of people, there are still many who are unaware of its benefits.
Creative Resolution Mediation Services handles divorce mediation, contract negotiation and landlord-tenant disputes. If you would like more information on how to turn a Win-Lose into a Win-Win result, I am available anytime to answer your questions and set up a free 30-minute consultation at (516) 308-7808 or you can email me here.
Considering divorce or separation? Do you have a dispute that you need resolved? Then you owe it to yourself to consider mediation to resolve your issues.