Mediation or Divorce Attorney: Which is Right for You?

Coming to an agreement through negotiation illustrated by three road or street signs with the words You Want, I Want, Negotiate

While a divorce is never easy, there are steps that you can take to make it as painless as possible. One option may be to settle the divorce through mediation instead of going through the process of litigation. How do you know if mediation or litigation is the right step for you?

Can You Put Your Differences Aside?

If you think that you and your former partner can put your differences aside for the sake of moving on, mediation may be the best option. There are many examples of couples who have stayed friends after ending their marriage or have otherwise been able to walk away with few hard feelings. Mediation may be the best option for couples who have children, as it allows both sides to be heard, create a resolution on their own and provide an example for the kids that their parents will be there for them.

Do You Have the Time and Money For Litigation?

While mediation will still cost money, it is much cheaper than hiring an attorney and going through the court process. An attorney will charge for each phone call, each email exchange and for any other outside experts that need to be hired for the case. Therefore, most people who have few assets or who aren’t concerned with taking their former partner for everything they can get are better off trying mediation first.

How Complex Is Your Case?

Although litigation is more expensive and time consuming, it may be the only way to properly settle a divorce. If there are child custody issues, if you think that your spouse is hiding assets or you cannot get him or her to communicate about his or her needs from a settlement, litigation may be the only option. However, even in such a scenario, the law may provide options that make it easier to have the case settled in a timely manner. For instance, if your partner refuses to sign divorce papers or show up in court, it may be possible to get a divorce judgment by default. Obtaining such a judgment may make it possible to get child support and spousal support.

While no one likes the thought of hiring a lawyer and going through the courts to settle domestic matters, it may be necessary. However, those who are seeking a divorce may want to consider mediation as a first step as it may lead to an amicable settlement that will allow both parties to obtain closure and move on with dignity.