Ask a Family Lawyer: Choosing Mediation to Resolve your Family Law Disputes
Marcus Sixta, the founder of Crossroads Law, discusses Mediation and why Court may not be the best place to resolve a family law dispute.
Stop, before you take that family law case to court, check out this video on mediation. Court is definitely not the best place to resolve a family law dispute. It's going to be more costly, more stressful and create more delays.
My name is Marcus Sixta, I'm a Family Lawyer, Mediator, Collaborative Divorce Lawyer, and I'm also the founder of Crossroads Law and I'm here today to talk to you about mediation.
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Why choose mediation over court in a family law case?
Well, there are lots of different reasons to choose mediation over court.
One reason is that the court system is very adversarial. In the court system, you are pitting yourself against your former partner, duking it out in court, fighting each other with lawyers and it can create long term animosity that can carry over for years in the family and can really have a negative affect on children.
So in mediation, you're actually working together with that other person to come up with an outcome that works for you and your family.
Another reason to go to mediation over court is, as every experienced litigator knows, anytime you go to court it doesn't matter how good you think your case is, you're always rolling the dice. There's never a guaranteed outcome when you go to court and so with mediation, you actually get more control of that outcome because you're in it. You're in it with your ex and you're working together to come up with that outcome rather than just handing everything over to a judge to make a decision for you and maybe it can result in a decision that nobody likes.
In mediation also, you usually end up spending less money than going to court. The court process is full of forms and formal procedures and quite often delays that can really slow everything down and lead to a lot more expense. Whereas with mediation it's a lot more informal and you can actually get in to see a mediator a lot more quickly in most cases than you could to get into court for a trial. And another great benefit of mediation is that you can be a lot more flexible just in terms of the outcome. With court, the outcome that you can get from a judge has to be something that's prescribed by law, it has to be something that the judge can do by law but in mediation you can come up with different types of solutions that aren't available in legislation or in the case law. Maybe a solution that just works for your specific family.
What if mediation doesn't work?
Well sometimes mediations aren't successful and when they're not, you have to have another option and there's lots of other options out there. So you could take your matter to court, you could try out arbitration, you could try out collaborative law, or you could do any one of those processes and then go back to mediation later. Just because mediation doesn't work out the first time, doesn't mean that's the end of it. You can always try it again and often cases are resolved at the second or even third time at mediation.
My hope is that this video encourages you to try mediation. If you'd like to book a consultation with a mediator, check out crossroadslaw.ca for your free consultation now. Also if you like what you just saw, make sure to like or share this video and if you have any questions that you'd like to 'ask a family lawyer', put those in the comments below.