What is mediation worth? How can you quantify the financial and emotional value of a successful mediation for any given family? These are surprisingly difficult questions to answer. For me, they are about as impossible to quantify as: How much money has the Thames Barrier has saved since it became operational in 1982? There is no real way of knowing the degree of damage and personal heartache that has not been suffered in the 176 times the barrier has been raised. In much the same way, there is no real way of measuring how much money and heartache clients who successfully negotiate a fair and workable financial settlement in mediation are spared.
All we can do is to provide some comparative information about the process of mediation against a bitter legal battle. Before providing this info however, I wish to make one caveat perfectly clear. Mediation is not suitable for all people. There are a variety of situations where the only real recourse couples have is to rely on the courts to assist them such as where there is domestic violence or child abuse. Those cases notwithstanding however, here are some examples of the cost of choosing not to mediate.
Expense: Aviva insurance estimates the average cost of divorce to be £43,998 per couple. By comparison, the average cost of a mediated settlement with New Landscape Mediation in Essex is less than £2,000 per couple
Time: In that same report, Aviva identified the average time to settle a divorce as 11.5 months. By comparison, in mediation we help most couples reach a full financial settlement within 5 weeks of deciding to mediate (assuming couples are able to provide financial documents such as bank statements etc. in a timely manner).
Psychological costs: The psychological costs of a contested divorce is impossible to quantify over that for those couples who use a Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediator. It is certain however, that the vast majority of couples who mediate a solution will be able to complete their divorce process at a fraction of the time and costs over a contested legal battle. These savings in time and money will undoubtedly translate into significant psychological savings as well.
If you would like more information about how mediation with an FMCA mediator can save you time and money, call our offices on 01279 211 657 for a fully confidential, no obligation discussion of your needs.