Mediation Vs. Litigation

While courtroom litigation is by its nature adversarial, divorce mediation allows the parties to work together outside of court to reach an agreement.

The Los Angeles attorneys of Joel S. Seidel & Associates are experienced mediators and litigators. Whatever your family law issue may be, we can help you pursue a positive outcome.

Advantages To Mediation

Following are some advantages to resolving family law matters through mediation:

  • Mediation can help minimize conflict between the spouses.
  • There is often a higher level of initial compliance with settlements reached through mediation.
  • Mediation is usually less costly than a comparable adversarial divorce.
  • Support agreements reached in mediation may allow for an enforceable agreement that cannot be obtained via court order, such as with payment for college tuition or post-high school support for adult children.

Additionally, child custody and visitation disputes facilitated through mediation potentially allow the parents to work on communication skills that will help with successful post-divorce parenting.

Mediation can also help parents create thoughtful, child-focused parenting plans that are customized to fit the child's current and changing needs. This kind of planning can be done in mediation to a detailed degree not obtainable in a court of law.

Disadvantages To Mediation

Mediation can also present significant disadvantages. For example, there is no right to discovery in mediation. Certain disclosures must be made in all family law cases handled in court, but with mediation, disclosures are voluntary. In complex cases, or in cases where one spouse is far more knowledgeable about financial matters than the other spouse, voluntary disclosures may not be sufficient to protect a party's rights.

Further, judgments obtained after comprehensive discovery are less likely to be challenged for lack of full disclosure than are marital settlements entered into on the basis of an informal exchange of information.

Mediation is voluntary, and in some cases, it can turn into the proverbial rabbit hole into which the parties pursue an ever-illusory settlement agreement.

At the end of an unsuccessful mediation, the parties have to start over, incurring additional fees and costs.

There may also be an imbalance of power between the spouses. A party with an overbearing spouse, a more sophisticated spouse, or a more educated spouse may accept a settlement that is less favorable than one that a court would have awarded, or the party may concede issues as to property status that he or she should not have conceded.

Learn More About Mediation Vs. Litigation

To arrange a consultation to discuss your divorce or family law issue, contact Joel S. Seidel & Associates at 818-488-6423. Our offices are located in Century City and Northridge.