Mediation is a great option for people that want to take an active role in resolving their conflicts, rather than leaving it up to a third party like a judge. In mediation, both parties work with the assistance of a neutral evaluator of their choosing to develop a solution that appeals to everyone. Mediation has its advantages, many of which are discussed in the article, “As Case for Mediation” by Mallory Stevens. The ways people approach resolving conflict are explained in another article, “Compromising Position” also by Mallory Stevens.
As a trained mediator and attorney, I encourage couples to consider mediation as an option when it is appropriate. Of course not all cases are ripe for mediation such as in the case where this is a power imbalance between the parties. In addition to saving money and putting the parties in charge of their own destiny, mediation can avoid some logistical problems that are unavoidable when dealing with the court system.
For example, just recently, there was a case that would have been a great candidate for mediation, but one party was too resistant to exploring that option. As a result, this case dragged on for over a year. It was a simple issue that could have most likely been resolved in one mediation session. During that time, the case was bumped from a trial date twice. On the second time, one of the parties flew cross-country for the trial, only to be informed that the judges were all on vacation when he arrived at court. The court did not provide any prior notice to the parties or their counsel of this. This is one scenario that would never happen with mediation because the parties choose their own mediator, the location of the mediation sessions, and the time. The parties are free to communicate to each other without a game of telephone through various other professionals.