Is Mediation the Answer?
Updated: Mar 14
My simple answer is "no". Mediation depends on you agreeing on visitation and support. how are you going to come to an agreement? One party is going to back down and give in. From my experience, the person who is most likely to back down is the party who is most concerned about the children. The party who is willing to hurt the children, is the one who usually gets what he or she wants.
There also does not seem to be much savings if you use mediation. From what I have seen, it will still cost you thousands of dollars. Those offering mediation say that it is less stressful. It may be, but - again - this depends on the two sides coming to an agreement, which often means one side agreeing to something they don't want.
From what I have seen, it also seems that most of your contact will be with non-attorneys. The motivation for the mediators is to wrap things up quickly without concern for what is in your best interest. The same is true for attorneys who offer a flat fee for a divorce. There are attorneys who will charge a non-refundable fee - from $2500 to $3500 - but they require that you are in complete agreement.
If you have come to an agreement, mediation or a flat fee attorney could be effective, except the cost is still too high. If you agree on everything, then you should just do everything yourself. It will be stressful, but will save you a lot of money.
Or - of course - you can pay me a lot less to do it.