Going to trial during an Everett divorce is both expensive and the results uncertain. In most cases, the judge assigned to your case will not be familiar with the Court file prior to trial and will learn about you and your issues only during the trial. Prior to trial, most courts require that the parties attempt to settle their case through “mediation”. Mediation is a process in which an experienced and professional attorney or retired judge with both parties and their attorneys adding his or her evaluation of the positions taken by both sides. Mediation is non-confrontational and most often each party (and their attorney) have their own conference room and the mediator works back and forth not unlike shuttle diplomacy. The process is far less costly and offers the parties to participate in crafting solutions to their issues, rather than having the solutions dictated to them by a judge after trial. Mediation is confidential and offers made in compromise to settle the case cannot be introduced at trial if mediation is unsuccessful.
Unlike arbitration, where the parties to a lawsuit introduce evidence and testimony before a designated arbitrator who makes a decision for the parties, mediation allows the couple to negotiate a settlement that they may both find satisfactory and to which they voluntarily agree.
The mediator does not issue rulings or decisions but instead will provide assistance to you and your counsel by evaluating each party’s case and providing insight into what might be the expected outcome from the trial if the parties are unable to reach an agreement.