A divorce trial can be much like a duel – the parties give up a significant amount of control of the outcome, and there is usually some risk of an unfavorable outcome which may have been avoidable. There are certainly times when a trial is the only option. However, in many more cases, mediating a divorce case is also a realistic option that should be given serious consideration.
Mediation can be a very effective tool to help bring divorce cases to a successful resolution early in the case. Mediation is a formal settlement conference with a third-party neutral, a mediator, basically conducting shuttle diplomacy between the parties’ rooms at the settlement conference.
However, whether any particular divorce mediation is successful or results in an impasse depends very much on the quality of the mediator. A mediator of moderate to low quality significantly reduces the likelihood of a successful mediation. High quality mediators are truly few and far between, but they do exist and are worth their weight in gold for their abilities to help the parties move toward resolving their case.