Monday, October 6, 2014

Talk is Cheap

We've all heard that "talk is cheap." Actions speak louder than words. And so on.... However, in the world of mediation, family mediation especially, talk IS cheap. Talk refers to communication between the disputing parties or family members. Communication is the key to all relationships. When communication fails, so do relationships.  Those relationships include business partners, contracting parties and of course familial relationships.
The Miami Herald, Business Monday section, published a succinct yet thorough article about mediation. The basic premise answers the question: "How do so many cases [non familial] resolve without a jury trial?" - Answer: Mediation! In 2013, in Miami-Dade county, nearly 40,000 new civil cases were filed. Among those 40,000 cases, only 210 juries were selected.  Thus, civil cases had more than a 99% chance of settling outside of the courtroom. How is this possible? - Mediation, Mediation, Mediation!
The world of family law is not much different. There are Florida statutes requiring a judge to order a case to mediation if there is a dispute regarding a child related issue, such as visitation.  The family court system has checks and balances to funnel a majority of the family law cases to mediation. Courts recognize that most family disputes should be settled by the family with a neutral facilitator, the mediator, not by a judge.
As the Herald article mentioned, mediation is much cheaper than litigation. Mediation resolves the dispute within a matter of hours, or days if necessary. The only cost is that of the mediator's time.  Litigation can take months, even years. The cost to litigate includes court costs, attorneys' fees, mediator's fees, and additional expenses in preparation for trial.
Family mediation opens up the lines of communication between the couple, co-parents, or family members, which will assist in facilitating a resolution. Although mediating pre-suit (before one files at the courthouse) is ideal, any time during the divorce/separation process is a good time to mediate.
Bottomline: Mediation was created to be an effective tool for dispute resolution. And it is! Choose to Mediate FIRST because Talk IS Cheap!

(Serving Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties)

(source: Miami Herald, Business Monday, Consider Mediation: Talk's Cheaper than a lawsuit, by Scott J. Silverman, October 6, 2014)

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