2015 Archive

Is Mediation A Less Expensive Option To Litigation?

Is Mediation A Less Expensive Option To Litigation?

It depends. Not helpful, I know.

Mediation makes perfect sense for parties who can be reasonable with each other, even if they cannot agree on the decisions. Mediation is designed to assist rational individuals to find reasonable solutions to problems that they could not agree upon prior to mediation. The key is rational and reasonable. If your spouse is rational and reasonable, then you should absolutely try mediation. If your spouse is irrational, unreasonable, or untrustworthy, then mediation will fail.

If mediation is being used to solely save money, but one or both of the parties either: (1) cannot agree on anything, (2) are using mediation as a discovery tool, (3) has no intention of agreeing to fair and reasonable terms, and/or (4) cannot hold-up the agreements made in mediation, then mediation will not be successful and, thus, it is a colossal waste of money.

I see parties all the time who insist on using mediation because it will cost less. These parties tend to crash and burn in mediation. So, then what happens? Then, they hire attorneys to start the process all over again. Hiring an attorney is expensive, but hiring an attorney is less expensive than going through mediation, failing at mediation, and using attorneys to start the process all over again.

So, does it make sense to use mediation at all? What IF we don’t settle in mediation?

If your spouse is rational and reasonable, then you should absolutely try mediation. At Mediation Northwest, we have a shockingly high success rate of reaching a signed Mediation Settlement Agreement, where rational and reasonable individuals are involved. Mediation is a far less expensive option and it provides closure for the parties in a way that litigation or represented parties do not feel.