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Mediation and Litigation

Mediation vs. Litigation

Posted on in Divorce

California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerA common myth exists that all divorce cases are gruesome. This outcome does not necessarily need to come to fruition. An alternative known as mediation is an excellent opportunity to divorce your spouse, yet accomplish the goal in a less emotionally and financially traumatizing manner. When an option to save time and money is available, it is worth consideration.

What Do These Terms Mean?

The standard road to divorce leads through litigation. Ultimately, after evaluating and listing assets, a judge reviews the items and distributes them accordingly, usually without consideration of the wants and needs of either party. The judge will determine what is best for the child, and those will be the standing orders for child support, visitation, and custody. The process is long and time-consuming, resulting in an unpredictable outcome.

Mediation maintains the power of each side. Together, divorcing spouses can reach an agreement of what works best for them. Neither party usually gets everything they want, but both have made agreed upon concessions and have retained the items that have the most value to them. Arrangements for child support, visitation, and custody can be decided by the parents: the two people who know the child most.

Differences

Vast differences exist between the two, from the time it takes, to the money spent. Knowledge enables informed decisions for what will be best for you and your family.

  • Decision-making: In mediation, control is maintained by both sides to make decisions. In litigation, lawyers and judges make all of the decisions regarding assets and children;
  • Attorneys: In litigation, both parties retain legal counsel individually. Mediation only requires one attorney, allowing for a division of cost;
  • Financial cost: Mediation costs near a $2,500 price point whereas going to court will cost closer to $15,000;
  • Confidentiality: If you wanted to keep secrets, mediation is better as it all remains confidential. In litigation, everything is public record;
  • Time management: Court hearings may take years to complete. The divorcing couple determines the mediation timeline; and
  • Emotionally freeing: In litigation, stress is at an all-time high leading to emotional outbursts. Mediation reduces stress and can result in a peaceful and friendly divorce.

Many divorcing couples choose to separate through mediation. After careful consideration, mediation offers a wide variety of benefits that are not available through a litigation process. Although each case is different and some divorcing couples, even if they would like mediation, do require the decision-making skills of a judge. There is also the opportunity to try mediation first and if the circumstances require it, going to court can still be an option to decide the more difficult issues. If you are interested in discussing the possibilities to accomplish your dissolution of marriage by speaking with a San Jose, CA mediation attorney, contact Ventresca Law Firm today at 408-395-8822 to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1189.htm

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1226.htm

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