Obviously a Separation and Divorce Family Mediator believes in the process of Mediation where appropriate. The reasons are numerous, but most simply put: In Mediation, the parties control the process of dissolving their union and in litigation, the process controls the parties. In a Separation or Divorce setting, the parties generally feel overwhelmed and stressed and litigation, and its unpredictable nature, aggravates that. If the parties are able to understand the issues in dispute, why wouldn’t parties seek to peacefully settle the sad and difficult issues they face, rather than escalate them at a huge financial and emotional cost? In litigation, the outcome is unpredictable and frightening, relating to one or more of the issues. In mediation, the parties stay in control of their negotiations, and although there are few “great” decisions in a separation or divorce situation, there is no shocking or unhappy surprise. Parties who negotiate their own agreements, knowingly and having fully explored the options are more likely to live up to their “end of the bargain.” After litigation there are "winners" and "losers" and very, very often, this feeds a continuation of personal conflict over some or all of those issues. The reality is that in family law matters, litigation often breeds more litigation. Currently in Maryland, mediation is required in court matters where child custody and visitation are in dispute exactly for this reason. The sensitive nature of the issues involved in family law requires a serious consideration of a more peaceful approach to solving those disputes. Separation and Divorce Mediation in Maryland with a skilled attorney-mediator trained to resolve disputes, rather than litigation with skilled attorneys poised to win at all costs, is likely to result in an acceptable resolution for both parties. Mediation is a fraction of the cost of litigation.