Mediation can be a cost-effective and speedy means to resolve marital conflicts. Even in cases where the parties are locked in seemingly intractable conflict, a trained mediator can help them come to agreement on many, if not all issues. This is because both parties to a divorce can lose sight of the fact that they both have many interests in common, such as saving money and time and serving the best interests of their children. Most parties to a divorce, when informed about the enormous cost and uncertainty of litigation, will choose at least to attempt mediation.
Mediation allows the parties time and opportunity to work out the details of a resolution on such issues as parenting time, parental decision-making, and allocation of debts and assets that best suits the needs of both parties. The mediator can facilitate the settlement by taking the time to listen the parties and gather all the information necessary to address the issues in a deliberate manner. This is in contrast to litigation because, of all the individuals involved in the divorce proceedings, the judge is the person least able to take the time to learn about the case and make a decision that works best for all. The cost of mediation is small in comparison to taking a case to trial, which, depending on the issues involved, can cost between $20,000 and $150,000.
A mediator who is also an experienced divorce lawyer, such as Matthew Kaplan, has the knowledge as to how certain issues would be resolved by the court and also has practical experience as to how certain proposals will work out in the long run.