Minneapolis, MN family law attorney Nancy Zalusky Berg talks about when you should get mediation and when not to.
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Well, the obviously plusses of mediation are you’re choosing a solution that fits you and your family, if you settle your dispute. When you submit it to the court, you’ve got a third party now who’s got 20 other cases ahead of you who really doesn’t know you’re kids, doesn’t care about your financial circumstances. They’re just gonna apply the law and render a decisions.
We often joke about the fact that we go to law school because we don’t like math. So, you’ve got judges making financial decisions who probably are not very skilled in it and have no interest in it sorting out your finances. So, obviously mediation and reaching an agreement is the best solution.
Now, here are the risks with mediation. If you have a power imbalance in the relationship, if you have coercive control, financial abuse going on, that’s not gonna make for a fair mediation setting, okay? Because somebody is able to exert power, and that’s why there’s strong suggestion that if there’s any history of domestic violence, these parties should not enter into mediation because the consequences for the out-of-power spouse will be so significant.
You also have to be very conscious of who you select as a mediator. You don’t want someone as a mediator who is not exceptionally skilled themself in managing the human condition and helping people reach agreements. The mediator needs to be creative to come up with solutions, otherwise, again, it’s gonna be a wasted effort.