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Somerville Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Contested Divorce > Three Reasons Divorce Mediation Usually Works

Three Reasons Divorce Mediation Usually Works


If both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation has about a 90 percent success rate. “Good faith” means that both parties place all their cards on the table, and both parties are willing to make some compromises in order to make a deal.

Generally, mediation takes place outside a courtroom setting. The sessions normally last a half day or a full day. A third party mediator reviews the file, listens to opening arguments from each side, then works to facilitate a settlement. The parties are only in the same room for the opening remarks. Afterwards, the mediator conducts shuttle diplomacy.

To obtain successful trial resolutions, Somerset County contested divorce attorneys must be good litigators. To obtain successful mediation resolutions, attorneys must be good negotiators. They must prepare thoroughly, stand up assertively when necessary, and be willing to bend when necessary. Very few lawyers have the right combination of abilities.


The “average” divorce costs about $15,000. But there is such a big difference between Jeff Bezos’ divorce and a default divorce with no property or children that this figure is almost meaningless.

One thing is certain. Marriage dissolution almost always costs substantially more than the parties planned to spend. So, by the time cases reach mediation, both sides are usually financially exhausted because they have spent considerable money on attorneys’ fees.

Successful mediation turns off the meter. Other than a brief hearing to finalize the divorce, everyone is finished. As a result, the financial savings could be several thousand dollars or more. Late in an expensive divorce case, that prospect sounds good to everyone.

The cost of divorce is not just financial. There are other expenses as well, as outlined below, and mediation reduces these costs as well.


After several months of litigation, many parties are not just economically exhausted. They are also emotionally exhausted. Frequently, divorce parties are eager to “get back at” the other spouse, at least initially. This fervor soon fades. After a few months, many spouses are more anxious to get on with their lives than they are to exact revenge on the other spouse.

Preserving civility is important, especially in the co-parenting era. Both parents are expected to assume active child-rearing roles. That’s usually impossible unless the parents are at least friendly toward one another. Divorce litigation, and especially divorce trials, usually leave emotional wounds that never heal.

Mediation does not just end the dispute more quickly. It also ends it more privately. There is no court reporter, so the proceedings are 100 percent private.


Because of the emotional and cost factors, many parties are ready to act in the best interests of their children and divide property equitably. Mediation puts the parties in control of this process. The judge does not dictate terms. Instead, the spouses decide the terms for themselves. This process is especially good if one or both spouses has an issue accepting authority.

Control also goes back to emotional and financial costs. Control usually increases voluntary compliance. That means fewer contested modifications and enforcement actions.

Contact a Dedicated Attorney

Mediation is a reality check, which is why it usually works. For a confidential consultation with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer, contact Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney at Law. Convenient payment plans are available.

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