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What You Need to Know About Divorce Litigation and Mediation

by | Apr 13, 2019 | Mediation, Litigation

When you and your spouse make the decision to file for a divorce, you have choices. While you might believe that your only answer is to battle in court for what you want, this is almost never recommended.  Divorce mediation gives you the opportunity to work out a divorce agreement with your spouse, while litigation puts any final decisions into the hands of the judge on your case.

Mediation Is More Amicable

If you and your spouse are able to reasonably negotiate the division of your assets, agree upon appropriate support, and establish a parenting schedule, mediation is the best way to handle your divorce. Even when one party is highly contentious, a skilled mediator can help you come up with a divorce agreement that works for both of you.  Mediation gives each of you an opportunity to negotiate for what you want, without anything being set in stone until you file your divorce agreement.

When Divorce Litigation is Necessary

Sometimes one party in the divorce won’t agree on anything, no matter how reasonable the other party is being. Divorce litigation involves presenting your issues to a Judge and trying to convince the Judge that what you are asking for is the best and fairest thing to do.  The Judge will hear from both of you then will need to make a decision after having a limited opportunity to gather information to make their decision. This process of presenting your case to a Judge is expensive and can take a very long time to have the matter heard.


The Court system encourages couples to work together to come up with a reasonable resolution before the matter is submitted to the Judge.  The Court recognizes that the couple is in the best position to understand their own situation and to know what they and their children need.  If the couple cannot reach an agreement then the Court will step in and do so.

Mediation provides a Healthy Alternative

Mediation is designed to educate the couple so they understand their issues.  It helps the couple exchange pertinent information so their eyes are wide open when they are making decisions on a fair division and appropriate level of support.  Finally, the mediator helps the couple consider creative options so that the best decisions can be made for the family.

If either spouse is not willing to work cooperatively the resolve the case then there is always the option of hiring attorneys and involving the Court in the decision making.  Given the time constraints, costs, stresses and limitation on options involved with litigating the case, it makes sense for the couple to first consider working with a mediator to resolve their own issues before choosing to give up their control over their matters and place it in the hands of a Judge.