Host: What are the benefits of divorce mediation as compared to litigation?
John Spiegel: Separation and divorce as said people are feeling upset. There is tremendous upheaval in peoples lives, emotionally often financially in terms of where they are living and all of that. To take people who are in that kind of turmoil and say to them, the way to solve the problems that you face, the way to figure out what your settlement is going to be is by fighting with your spouse. I think it is like putting to use the typical phrase, it is like putting a stumbling block in front of the blind and there is no reason to do it for the vast majority of couples.
The benefits of a cooperative process of mediation is that it enables people to think together about what kinds of solution will work well for every member of the family and to keep the needs of there children at the center of there retention. To figure out how the finances can be organized going forward so that both households will be financially viable. So that everybody survives, everyone lands on there feet.
As compared with litigation, mediation is inexpensive, it is a gentle process; it is much, much quicker than litigation which can take years to complete where as mediation generally is completed in a couple of months. Mediation gives people good skills to take forward in their lives because they learn communication skills and I think most of all, the benefit of mediation is that it keeps the parents as the decision makers about their family instead of giving that authority to an Attorney in a black robe who does not know the children, who probably does not have special training in child development.
Judges work hard and they are trying their very best to come up with solutions that make sense, but they have tremendous stocked pressures, they have to work so quickly, they will never know the children. So in my view it is the parents that ought to be the decision makers in the mediation they are.