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 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.
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Johnathan Pease, of New Landscape Mediation, is a highly experienced family mediator with over 20 years of experience working in family conflict resolution both as a mediator and Family Consultant.
A fully accredited BACP psychotherapist, Johnathan holds several qualifications with ADRg – including Direct Child Consultant (DCC). He is an accredited Civil/Commercial mediator, a member of the UK College of Mediators, and an affiliate member of Resolution.
Johnathan’s flexible and pragmatic approach to mediation makes the most of his understanding of interpersonal dynamics for the benefit of all concerned.
As a father of 2 children, and having experienced a family breakdown himself, Johnathan recognises that there are often many layers to the end of a marriage hindering a successful settlement than first meets the eye. Johnathan applies his varied training and life experience to the time sensitive and practical needs of family mediation with consistent success.