Los Angeles, CA family law attorney Robert W. Eisfelder talks about the pros and cons of mediation in divorce and how he helps clients come to an agreement without going to court.
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Mediation is an excellent way to get cases resolved. There’s a time when mediation is effective and there’s times when it will not be effective. And what I mean by that is in order to mediate a case both sides have to have exchanged material information so that they know what the issues are and we can figure out the delta between each person’s perspective as to what the settlement should be. A good mediator will spend lots of time talking to the parties about what litigation is involved, how much it’s gonna cost, and will often issue recommendations as to how best to resolve the case after talking to the lawyers and the clients. So timing’s important. In some cases they can be mediated quickly. If all the facts are known and the dispute is defined, we could get to a mediator and try and get the case resolved in the first few months. In other cases there can be discovery that has to be conducted in order to meaningfully valuate the case and give the client the proper advice.
At the end of the day it’s the client’s choice. Some clients prefer to mediate without going through all the discovery that needs to be done, and they want to reach what I call a comfort settlement, a settlement where each side is comfortable with what they’re doing and they move on with their life.