Divorce Mediation vs Litigation

Divorce Mediation vs Litigation Title ImageIn the state of California, you have several options when pursuing divorce proceedings. Understanding the difference between mediation and litigation can help you make the best decision for your specific situation. Here are some key facts to consider when planning the dissolution of your California marriage.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation arrangements are designed to allow an objective and neutral third party to discuss all issues related to your divorce and to help the two of you make fair and impartial decisions in a private and safe environment. This can result in a more amicable resolution of your divorce and leave each of you in a better emotional place than when you started the divorce process.

Mediation vs. Litigation

Couple in Divorce MediationWhen considering mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation, you should understand the primary differences between these two processes in the California legal system:

  • Litigation can often cost more than arrangements made through mediation.
  • With Mediation, you and your partner will maintain control over the outcome of your divorce and the decisions made about child support, child custody and the division of marital assets.
  • The cooperative atmosphere of a mediated divorce can be less stressful for children.
  • Mediation arrangements allow you to decide issues related to your minor children without involving third parties.
  • In most cases involving litigation, the decisions made in court are part of the public record. Mediation decisions, however, are usually kept private.
  • Mediated divorce agreements may be changed by the parties without a court hearing. By contrast, litigated divorce orders or judgments often require court involvement if either party wants to change the order or judgment.
  • Since you and your partner share a mediator, your divorce is unlikely to escalate into a match between dueling attorneys or a contest to see who can spend the most money to win.

If you are considering divorce in the state of California, choosing mediation or collaborative divorce over litigation in court can reduce the emotional and financial cost of your divorce.

Mediation Is Not for Everyone

Couple headed for Divorce LitigationMediation arrangements require you and your partner to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions to the issues involved in your divorce. If anger or lingering resentments have made it difficult for you to discuss matters in a calm and cooperative manner, the mediation process may not be the right choice for your divorce. Mediation is also not recommended for cases in which domestic violence has been a factor. If, however, you can put your personal feelings aside to work together for a mutually beneficial resolution to your divorce, you can often enjoy greater benefits and lower costs by opting for mediation instead of divorce litigation.

Deciding how to proceed with your divorce can be a good test case for determining if mediation is a viable solution for you and your partner. If the two of you can agree on the divorce mediation process, you may be able to take advantage of these alternatives to litigation to ensure a less stressful process for all involved parties.


If interested in seeking litigation or mediation services in Fresno, California,
contact the 
Law Office of Julia Ann Brungess today!

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