Recently, the wife and I were having a conversation about a friend who had left her husband. She told me that they decided to have a mediator and skip the lawyer. The idea was to save money. I recall rolling my eyes and shaking my head.
Which lead me to post a questiion on Twitter - that only got one response and was about the same as my response.
Let me be clear: in and of itself, mediation is not a bad thing and settlement is never a bad thing. What I am not so sure about is the selling of mediators as an alternative to lawyers. Let me give an example from TheDivorceHelpClinic.com's Divorce Mediation page:
Divorce Mediation is an alternative to litigation (where attorneys fight one another for what their clients want.) Mediation, on the other hand, is an informal meeting with a neutral mediator and the couple working together cooperatively, calmly and fairly.
According to the National Conflict Resolution Center, “Research shows that when you compare couples who have mediated their divorce with couples who go through an adversarial divorce, mediating couples are more likely to be satisfied with the process and the result, likely to take less time and spend less money, and are less likely to go back to court later to fight about something.”