Most people don’t think about court unless the worst happens: a lawsuit, a criminal offense, or a traffic violation. Facing a divorce? Dealing with custody issues? Trying to get someone else to pay for damages they caused? Your first thought might be to head to court directly, but there are problems with this approach.
You see, court can cost a lot of money because you need to get a good lawyer on your side. They will not only handle every piece of the case, but they have to do a lot of research. It goes without saying that research performed by a highly specialized professional is going to cost you some money. They have to bury themselves in your case, which can mean a lot of money is going to change hands very quickly. Yet there has to be a way to make sure that your rights are respected under the law, and that you get the outcome that you’re looking for.
There is a way to even things up a bit, even though you’re not guaranteed a particular outcome: hiring a mediator.
Be prepared, though: a mediator is not for every issue. If you absolutely can’t stand the idea of facing your soon to be ex-spouse in pubic and you don’t want to speak to them, chances are good that a mediator isn’t the right fit for you. They will require that both parties are as open and honest as possible.
Here are three reasons why hiring a mediator is a very good thing, under the right circumstances of course.
1. True Neutrality
Keep in mind that the mediator is not automatically an attorney. This means that nothing they say is legally binding, but they still have true neutrality. They aren’t automatically on your side, but they aren’t on the other person’s side either. Their job is to listen to both sides of the issue and help you come to a resolution that’s pleasant for both sides.
2. Open & Honest
With a mediator, you know what you’re going to get. You don’t have any hidden fees or red tape. You meet with them for a fairly short amount of time, and try to work out a peaceful resolution. This can help you save time and money, instead of pouring more of both into an attorney.
3. Informal & Relaxed
If the idea of a courtroom is giving you jitters, consider mediation. You won’t have to meet in a courtroom, just a quiet and very private space. Sometimes it helps to meet in a private space to air out issues and avoid going through a long protracted trial. Since you’re splitting the cost of the mediator with the other person in many cases, you have some more flexibility in terms of picking a suitable venue.
There are plenty of great mediators out there. Contact one in your area and shoot them a few questions about your situation. They are bound to respond and help you work out some next steps.