Mediation vs Litigation
– what’s the right fit for you?
If, you’re experiencing the collapse of your marriage, and you’re checking us out, I command you. I know that you are not someone who’s plotting your divorce to be contested and stretched out. You respect yourself too much to do that. And as hard as this is, you do not want to do this to your ex either.
What you want is for your divorce to end as soon and as humanely possible.
But you’re not sure whether your relationship is deemed “amicable” or whether mediation is the right path for you. This should help you:
Fit for mediation
Litigation may be a better route
Want The Ultimate Divorce Mediation Prep Sheet?
The thing about mediation is that you can always check in with a lawyer at any point in the process without actually being involved in litigation. But keeping the bulk of the discussions within the mediation realm will ensure that you keep your divorce amicable, constructive, and cost effective.
The one BIG thing that you only get if you choose mediation is autonomy. If you choose litigation, you’re putting the decision making completely in the hands of the Judge. While in mediation, you both decide what is good for you, your kids, and your financial well being. You are not under the mercy of the man (or woman) in the black gown.
TDS Mediation: What you Should Know
Zeina has a degree in Justice Studies, and dual certificates in Mediation and Negotiation, and is currently taking the Relationship Systems Intelligence (ORSC™) training. She coached junior mediators at the Civil Mediation Court and Mount Royal University. She has been a divorce mediator for 22 years, helping 100’s of couples avoid court, and divorce constructively. Her exposure to the end of marital relationships gives her insight into what creates conflict, how to handle it, and even grow from it. She is an expert on conflict management, communication skills, and assertiveness.
We usually start by setting guidelines for our meeting. We value people’s time and their investment in our mediation, and setting guidelines helps everyone stay on track.
Then, you and your spouse come up with an agenda of topics you want to reach an agreement on. Those usually include, support payments, selling the home, dividing RRSP’s, etc.
You choose one topic to start with, you tackle them one by one. Often, 2 or 3 topics are connected, and so mediation makes it so effective to discuss them in real time.
Your mediator will ask you questions, keep you focused, and make every effort to balance the discussions. You can picture everyone in the room climbing a mountain together. We all move steadily together with the goal for you to reach a settlement at the end.
If you do not agree during the first session of mediation, you can come back for another session! About 1/10 of our mediation don’t settle in the first session. Sometimes you need to go away, gather your thoughts, think of the options proposed, and then come back when you’re ready to make final decisions.
If you cannot agree at the second or third session, you may choose to go to court to request that a Judge makes the decisions for you.
However by the time our clients get to the decision making step, they feel confident and ready to both negotiate constructively with the other side, as well as agree on issues.
Sigh of Relief! At the end of a successful mediation, people usually feel tired and washed by relief at the same time. I compare it to going on a long hike in the sun. You are tired and can barely move by the end of it, but you’re “good tired”. In the few days after the mediation, your brain feels like it needs rest. Don’t schedule a big project after your mediation!