Two different options divorcing couples may use to determine a division of marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support are mediation and litigation. Mediation is becoming a more popular choice, even in cases of a contentious divorce, because it gives the divorcing parties more control over decision making with assistance and guidance from their Las Vegas divorce lawyers, whereas, with litigation, a judge or jury are enabled to make final decisions which are legally binding for the divorcing parties.
Mediation is highly recommended, as it is a more cost-effective solution that allows the parties to resolve matters in a timely fashion. It is often better to reach practical resolutions rather than waiting until disputes can be resolved by a judge or jury. Further, both parties have the flexibility to negotiate on various aspects of the separation agreement and divorce decree, without having to rely upon the court system to make the decisions on their behalf.
In mediation, both parties have the right to select a mediator to serve as an unbiased, intermediary third party to help open communications and dialogue to start negotiations. Normally, the mediator is a senior lawyer who is well-versed in family and divorce laws. Besides the mediator, typically both parties will be represented by their own divorce lawyers.
The mediation meeting is usually conducted at a mutually agreed upon location, outside of the court, like at the senior lawyer’s law firm. During this meeting, the parties do not have to be in the same room as the mediator, which is common for contentious divorce proceedings. Rather, the lawyers convey the wishes of their clients to the mediator and relay information to their clients, while working toward mutually acceptable decisions, as well as resolving any disputes.
It is worth mentioning that the mediator does not have the ability to make final decisions for the parties. The goal of the mediation process is for the parties to reach an acceptable agreement without having to involve the court. The mediator will provide their input, make suggestions and recommendations, and provide guidance for both parties as they attempt to work toward an agreement. In the event there are still unresolved matters afterwards, the next step is to use litigation in court.
Litigation is more costly and time consuming than mediation. The divorcing couple has to wait for the court system and the availability of the judge to have disputes resolved. Once in court, each party has the right to present their case, call witnesses, and provide supporting evidence to further their position on unresolved matters before the judge or jury makes their ruling. Depending upon the nature of the divorce process, in some cases it can take years to resolve certain matters.
Additionally, in divorce proceedings where minor children are involved, the mediation process gives the parents complete control over custody, visitation, and support, whereas with litigation the court determines what is in the children’s best interests, regardless of the parents’ wishes. For additional information about the separation and divorce, or mediation and litigation processes, schedule a no-obligation consultation appointment by calling McFarling Law Group at (702) 565-4335 today.