Benefits of Divorce Mediation vs. Divorce Litigation


Divorce mediation might be a better solution as litigation can be difficult on families. Family matters such as divorce, child custody and other family issues can be painful to resolve. Conflicting agendas and ideas of what is in the family’s best interest can lead to tension. Creating effective resolutions can be achieved by finding common ground through divorce mediation, instead of fighting through divorce litigation.

Divorce mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, a mediator, works with both parties during a divorce to help them negotiate a settlement agreement. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and guide the parties towards a mutually acceptable resolution of their disputes, including issues related to property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The mediator may meet with the participants together or separately and may use various techniques to help them reach an agreement, such as brainstorming, reality testing, and role-playing. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator may draft a written settlement agreement that can be reviewed and approved by each party’s attorney.

On the other hand, divorce litigation is the legal process of resolving disputes related to a divorce through the use of the court system. It involves hiring an attorney to represent you in court, and typically involves a series of court hearings or trials to resolve familial issues. In divorce litigation, each party presents their arguments and evidence to a judge, who ultimately decides what to do with the disputed issues. This process can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally draining, as it involves a high level of conflict between the parties. Litigation can also be adversarial, with each party seeking to “win” the case rather than work together to find a mutually acceptable solution. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and further strain on the relationship between the parties.

Divorce mediation is voluntary and confidential, and the mediator does not make decisions or impose solutions on the parties – instead, the mediator helps the parties identify their interests, prioritize their goals, and explore various options for resolving their disputes. Here are some other benefits of divorce mediation over divorce litigation:

  • Cost-effective: Divorce mediation is typically less expensive than divorce litigation. Mediation sessions are often shorter than court proceedings and typically do not require extensive preparation and documentation, which can reduce the overall costs.
  • Faster resolution: Mediation can often resolve disputes more quickly than litigation. Where litigation can drag on for months or even years, mediation sessions can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for both parties, and the process can be completed in a matter of weeks.
  • Less adversarial: Divorce mediation is a collaborative process, in which both parties work together to find a mutually acceptable solution.
  • More control: In mediation, the parties have more control over the outcome of the dispute. The mediator does not make decisions or impose solutions on the parties, but rather facilitates discussion and negotiation.
  • Confidentiality: Mediation sessions are confidential, which means that the parties can speak freely without fear of their words being used against them in court. This can encourage open and honest communication in addition to helping build trust between the couple.
  • Better for families: Mediation can be particularly beneficial for families with children. By working together to develop a parenting plan and other agreements, the parties can create a more stable and supportive environment for their children.
For more than 40 years, I have been helping people work through the most difficult family law matters. I know the good that can come from the divorce mediation process and have the experience necessary as a mediator to be able to help you effectively work through the challenges that stand between you and the resolution that best suits your family’s needs. If you are in the Kansas City area and believe that divorce mediation is the better solution for your family, contact me, Hugh O’Donnell, today to schedule a consultation. Feel free to call me at (816) 533-5152 with any questions you have regarding divorce litigation and divorce mediation.