There is nothing wrong about choosing to mediate your divorce because it costs less. In fact, that is a very sensible plan in tough economic times. Mediation generally costs two thirds less than courthouse litigation. In my experience, the number of mediation sessions usually range from five to eight, if each session is one hour in length. Here are just a few of the financial and emotional advantages to mediation:
- You don’t pay for travel time. Your attorney will likely bill you for some or all of his/her travel time to and from the courthouse.
- You don’t pay for waiting. Your attorney will likely bill you for the time waiting at the courthouse to have your case called and heard by the judge.
- You save on gasoline because you are not driving to a distant courthouse and you save on parking because it will either be free or your mediator should validate your parking.
- You control the date and time of your mediation sessions. You are not bound by the courthouse schedule. This is a very big advantage because you can often avoid taking time off from work and thereby not lose income or hurt your career.
- You can pretty much wear what you want. Most attorney will tell their clients to dress at least business casual when going to court and never to wear jeans. In mediation, you can wear shorts and flip flops. Nice in the Summer.
- There is no stress. Seriously. You are not going to be called as a witness. You are not going to be intimidated by a courthouse full of attorneys or the judge who sits on the bench wearing a black robe, because none of that is present in mediation.
- You can bring a drink (non alcoholic of course) and/or a snack to mediation. You cannot eat or drink in the courtroom.
- You can leave your cell phone on in mediation. Judges can and will confiscate a cell phone that rings in their courtroom.
The list of advantages to mediation can go on and on, but by now you get the point.