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Mediation vs. Litigation

Mediation vs. Litigation in the San Fernando Valley

Trusted Representation from Our Family Lawyers in Northridge & Century City

While courtroom litigation is by its nature adversarial, divorce mediation allows the parties to work together outside of court to reach an agreement. At Joel S. Seidel & Associates, our attorneys are experienced mediators and litigators. Whatever your family law issue may be, we can help you pursue a positive outcome.

Let us guide you through this difficult time. Call (818) 435-3773 to schedule an initial consultation!

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

Our San Fernando Valley family law attorneys can further explain the difference between the two. We are here to address any of your questions and concerns while helping you decide which legal route is the best for you and your family. Whether you decide to mediate or litigate, you can trust that our firm stands by you every step of the way, helping you obtain the most positive end-result possible.

To arrange a consultation to discuss your divorce or family law issue, contact Joel S. Seidel & Associates at (818) 435-3773. Our offices are located in Century City and Northridge.

  • “He is proficient in knowing the law and legal system. He invests extra time to research cases and provides a calm and confident presence.” - Former Client
  • “Mr. Seidel represented me on a case that involved child custody issues, child support issues, spousal support issues, attorney fees, and the division of assets. He was prepared at all times, professional, and I could not be happier with his work and the ou” - Samuel (reviewed on Yelp)
  • “Joel and his team are incredible. They coached me through and incredibly difficult custody battle that ultimately ended in my child and my favor.” - Viola C. (reviewed on Google)
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