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Frequently Asked Questions: Divorce Mediation

How is mediation different than litigation?

When parties resolve their disputes by litigation, their contacts are generally indirect – through attorneys and the rules of the court system. In addition, litigation is adversarial by nature. Because of this, litigation is often an inefficient way to resolve disputes. With court appearances, including motions, pretrial conferences, and possibly a full trial, the litigation process can be very expensive. Litigation almost invariably causes hard feelings to develop and solidify, deeply affecting not just the parties, but also the children, and other parties, such as in-laws.

Mediation is a more direct process, where the participants are in control of their own destiny. A series of face-to-face meetings led by the mediator can produce agreements that allow many parties to achieve an amicable divorce without a lawyer. Because the parties will not be pushed into win/lose debate or bargaining, solutions can be more creative, and fulfill more of each participant’s needs and desires.

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