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Beware the Late-Night Mediation!

The process of formal Mediation has evolved into a very popular, and hugely successful, alternative to divorce litigation. No doubt, the rise in using Mediation to resolve divorce and custody issues, can be attributed, in great measure, to economic considerations. The act of settling a divorce case, or a custody dispute, through Mediation, results in a savings to each party of tens of thousands of dollars that each would incur in litigating those same issues through the court system.

The advent of Mediation, however, has brought with it a potentially disastrous problem - the late-night Mediation! Most mediators and attorneys believe that the Mediation process, once started, should continue until the dispute has been compromised and resolved. Such approach has often led to Mediations that last until the early-morning hours, or worse, all night!

More often than not, such late-night, marathon Mediations result in one, or both, of the parties being dissatisfied. One party will, no doubt, feel as though he/she was "pressured" into agreeing to a certain provision. Indeed, is there any one of us, attorneys and clients alike, who is as sharp and alert at midnight, as they were at 5:00 p.m.? Isn't it far more likely that an asset, or a particular issue, will be overlooked at 2:00 a.m., 16-hours of Mediation?

Mediation is a wonderful tool for the divorce lawyer; and, most often serves our clients' best interests. However, consider starting the Mediation earlier than normal, and imposing a "hard stop" no later than 7:00 p.m. This gives everyone plenty of time to discuss, negotiate, compromise and resolve all issues on the table, without running afoul of the late-night Mediation syndrome.

If you have divorce or custody issues that could benefit from a Mediation, call one of the attorneys at Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C. for a complimentary, 30-minute telephone consultation.

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Duff Kronfeld & Marquardt P.C.
11320 Random Hills Road
Suite 630
Fair Oaks Commerce Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-591-7475
Fax: 703-273-4537
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