How Do Mediation and Litigation Differ?
Every divorce will have its own unique set of issues and every family will face different challenges. Luckily, there are a few different options you have to get a divorce, with each one being suited to handle different challenges. Couples who are both in agreement about all the issues in the divorce and are able to draft a separation agreement that is fair and reasonable can execute their divorce almost entirely on their own.
For couples with complex issues at stake, such as a complex asset division or minor children may not be able to draft a separation agreement on their own. Many couples find themselves in this position. Those who cannot reach agreement on their own may decide to mediate their case or participate in some other form of alternative dispute resolution, They can also take it to court to litigate. An important distinction between mediation and litigation is in whose control the divorce is.
In general, mediation is a non-adversarial and amicable route to divorce.
It allows both spouses to maintain control of their divorce and provides the resources and guidance that may be needed to reach agreement on complex issues. With mediation, you and your spouse do not need to hire your own separate attorneys, making it a cost-effective option. You and your spouse, with the help of a skilled mediator, can work out a separation agreement on your own. You will still need to submit the agreement to the court for approval, but you will not have to appear at multiple hearings or be subject to strict court calendars to do so.
Litigation is another route to a divorce that you can resort to in situations where neither spouse is motivated to make mediation work.
Litigation is adversarial and often combative. It takes some of the control away from the spouses. The courts and your attorneys will be steering the divorce case with the help of your input. In litigation, your attorneys, should you choose to hire them, will present your issues to the court for a judge to ultimately decide upon. Sometimes couples can settle at some point during this process, but it could eventually lead to a trial if an agreement can never be reached. In litigation, the courts and the judge will be making the important decisions and there is little you can do once those decisions are made. If you are at all apprehensive about the thought of going to court, consider working with an experienced divorce mediator so you can amicably resolve your issues with you in control and preserve your peace of mind.
Do you have questions about divorce mediation? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can assist you with efficiently mediating your divorce, saving you from the costs and stress of courtroom battles. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson.
Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.