Benefits Of Mediation For Missourians In Family Law Matters
Over the years in practice in Platte City, family law attorney Robert Black of The Law Office of Robert Black has continued to discover new benefits to the mediation approach to family law. Below are a few of these benefits.
Mediation Is Better For Children
An unfortunate idea about the other model – adversarial litigation (or trial) – is that the end game occurs on the day of trial when the judge announces his or her decision. The fact is, though, that your responsibility as parents will continue long into the future until your children are fully grown and mature.
Litigation (win-lose trials) pits husband against wife – mother against father – in what is often a lengthy and painful process that results in increased conflict between the parties. No matter how hard people try, it is extremely difficult to keep children out of that conflict. Parents can become so engrossed in their anger toward the other parent that they lose sight of the fact that their high-conflict divorce may be causing great emotional damage to their children.
Family law mediation is a nonadversarial and nonconfrontational process that helps parents remain focused on the relevant issues without putting children in the middle of the divorce or separation. It offers the promise of reduced conflict between the parents as they work toward an agreement that is best for their children.
Research indicates that child support arranged through mediation is up to 35% more likely to be paid one year later than court-ordered child support. Research also shows that the mediation process can significantly reduce the incidence of behavioral problems and seems to lead to healthier long-term parent-child relationships compared with children of parents who went to trial in a win-lose battle.
Mediation Is Confidential
As a family law mediator, Robert Black is ethically bound to preserve the confidentiality of everything that is said in mediation sessions. Because trials tend to be win-lose, bad things are said about both parties in open court. In a mediated case, the only information cited in open court are the solutions crafted by the parties themselves.
The Mediator’s Neutrality Is A Benefit
As your mediator, my responsibility is to both of you. I don’t take sides, I don’t judge, I don’t criticize. My sole purpose is to help you reach a fair and equitable settlement that works for both of you. That said, my experience as a family law attorney enables me to offer, but not dictate, alternatives to various issues that I have observed with other clients and alternatives that I have seen from family law judges. – Family law mediation attorney Robert Black
Mediation Keeps Family Members In Control Of Their Own Lives
A number of family law judges have stated that “the worst solution a husband and wife can come up with is better than my best solution.” Why would a judge say that? Because the judge knows that in trial, he or she sees a small snapshot of you and your children’s lives. Mediation places you in charge of the outcomes.
You know most and best about yourselves and your children. You should be in control of the outcomes of your divorce or other family law matter – it is the first step you will take in shaping your future. Litigation places attorneys and judges largely in control of the outcomes. That can be terribly stressful and unpredictable. In mediation, all decisions are yours – no guesswork, no rolling the dice, no second-guessing what might be said about you in court.
Mediation Costs Less
In litigation, communication tends to be, for example, from husband to husband’s attorney to wife’s attorney to wife, and then back the same way. Grade school communications exercises tell us what happens there. That cumbersome method of communication, and other characteristics of the litigation model itself, tends to have two results – increased costs and decreased clarity about what is happening in the divorce process. Mediation places the parties face to face with a professional mediator and allows for direct communication about all aspects of the divorce or other family law matters. In Mr. Black’s experience, most people who use a mediator see better or similar results at a substantially lower cost.
Contact The Law Office of Robert Black online or by phone at 816-873-1211 to schedule a consultation and discuss how mediation can benefit your Missouri divorce or custody case.