If you’ve read any of my blog posts, or heard me interviewed, or even talked to me for more than five minutes, you probably already know that I adore mediation for conflict resolution. It is effective and saves people money and emotional wear and tear. (Plus, there are a zillion – or at least fifty thousand – more great benefits from mediation instead of litigation, but since I’m trying to keep it brief, I’ll stop here!)
This week I participated in a Zoom meeting with the Family Law bench and bar, which included updates on Covid requirements, Covid delays, and budget constraints. As I listened to the conversation, the refrain that kept repeating in my head was: Now is a really, really, great time to mediate instead of litigate. The judges and clerks are working harder than ever but because of budget and Covid delays, fighting in court is taking longer than before. It would appear that for the foreseeable future, there will be new Covid-requirements, adding to the litigation maze, which is already fraught with delays, frustrations, and costly legal bills.
When I put all these facts into the hopper, to me, the message is clear: If you possibly can, choose mediation instead of litigation! Of course, I do understand that not everyone wants to or can mediate – some circumstances seem to necessitate the strong hand of a judge in order to obtain the divorce decree – and still, I’m optimistic that with the current state of the courts, more and more people will mediate instead of litigate. Heck, maybe the court system will institute some formal incentives to entice people out of the courts and into a satisfying mediated judgment instead….
If you want to talk about how you’re interested in mediation but you think it couldn’t possibly work for you, or if you have any questions, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-210-3796.