Divorce Mediation or Litigation?

Potential clients ask me all the time, what is better:  Mediation or Litigation?

All cases that can be mediated, should be mediated.  Here’s why:

  1. Mediation is the least costly option, both financially and emotionally.  You hear all the time that divorce is SO expensive.  That’s because there is a lot of preparation that your attorney must do in order to litigate your case in court.  The court requires documents to be filed before hearings, the court also requires that your attorneys meet and confer to try to reach a resolution before a court hearing.  Then the time your attorneys actually spend it court is increased by the volume of other cases that the judge will be hearing on the same day that your hearing will be heard.  Litigating your divorce in court, is both financially and emotionally draining.  Litigation should be avoided if possible and settlement should always be the goal.

However, there are those cases that simply cannot be settled.  For one reason or another, someone takes an unreasonable position, or there is a legitimate discrepancy in the law or in the facts.  If you and your spouse cannot reach a resolution between yourselves or with the assistance of your attorneys, then you must take it to the court and the judge will make a decision for you.

Another reason that you should mediate your case, if possible:

  • Mediation allows you to control the results of your case.  You have a say in what you will and will not agree to.  You will take into consideration your best- and worst-case scenario and hopefully arrive at a result that while not be perfect, but that you are comfortable with.  If you go to court and let the judge decide, you relinquish control to a stranger who does not know anything about your family or your case aside from what you and your attorney are able to convey in the 5-10 pages of pleadings you are able to file, and the arguments you are able to make on the day of the hearing.  This process leaves a lot to chance.

A third reason you should mediate your case:

  • Mediation is typically a much quicker process than a litigated divorce.  The courts are very impacted and it sometimes takes months to get a court hearing so that the judge can resolve one of your issues.  If you are able to reach an agreement in mediation, your case will be resolved and you will be divorced much sooner (and thus able to move on with your life) than if you litigated your divorce.

If you would like more information on the divorce mediation process or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to contact Mioni Family Law at (424) 259-1770.  Mioni Family Law is located in Redondo Beach, and serves the surrounding cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, Torrance, and the greater Los Angeles area.