Mediation Benefits PDF Print E-mail

Mediating a family law issue, whenever possible, is preferable to litigation for a variety of reasons. The parties to the relationship work through an impartial mediator in a neutral environment where discussion of the issues of their choosing remain confidential rather than a public airing in a confrontational court environment. The differences between meditation and litigation include:

  • Costs - parties to the mediation will be sharing the costs of these services. Litigation will involve each party enlisting the services of their own attorney. While there will be some document preparation costs in a mediation the total cost will be more easily ascertained than the possibility of a drawn out court confrontation. On average mediation costs $3,000 to $5,000 while the average costs of litigating a divorce are $20,000 each.
  • Personal Impact - while all mediation is conducted in a business like environment it is not the formal public adversarial environment of the family law court. When parties are willing to negotiate in good faith they often find the impartial mediator is able to resolve issues in ways they had not envisioned prior to the mediation process. And the more amicable the process the better the results for friends and family, particularly where dependent children are involved.
  • LGBT Relationships - the benefits offered by mediation can be even more pronounced for same sex couples where the lack of a comprehensive body of law governing their relationships may force former partners to rely on contract law and find themselves disputing agreements that are often oral in nature. Under these circumstances same sex separations can degenerate into numerous unsubstantiated claims by opposing parties that prolong the process and increase expenses. Here the informal process and ability to resolve situations you might find neither party has a clear recollection of works toward a settlement not possible in the confines of a court hearing.

A divorce, separation or dissolution of any kind is always a difficult emotionally charged experience. The adversarial posture of litigation heightens the anxiety of an already contentious situation and leave the parties involved feel issues important to them were never addressed and a settlement imposed on them that doesn't reflect the situation. Mediation provides a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties are free to raise issues and arrive at their own understanding with the assistance of the neutral mediator. Contact Elizabeth F. Courtney.


Elizabeth F. Courtney
Attorney at Law
489-A Central Avenue
Upland CA 91786