How is Divorce Mediation Different from Traditional Divorce Litigation?

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Updated December 3, 2023

Divorce mediation is growing in popularity, but the vast majority of divorces are still divorce litigations.  Read on to learn more about how divorce mediation differs from traditional divorce litigation.

The courts of this country should not be the places where resolution of disputes begins. They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.

—Sandra Day O’Connor

More often than not, our mediation clients tell us that they can’t believe more separating spouses don’t choose to mediate their divorces.  One theory is some people simply don’t know what mediation is and, therefore, don’t know that it is an option.

Read: Mediation, Collaboration, or Litigation? 

Connecticut Divorce Mediators

Mediation is a voluntary, flexible, non-adversarial, and private process for resolving a divorce or other family law issue.  It all happens with the help of a neutral mediator who assists a couple in reaching an agreement. It is cost-effective and often faster and more efficient than proceeding through the courts. The divorce mediator is not a judge and cannot force anyone to do anything.  Instead, she uses her experience and training to help the parties reach an amicable resolution.  The divorce mediator also doesn’t serve as either spouse’s attorney.  Instead, each spouse should retain their own review counsel to give the legal advice they need to feel confident about their decision-making during mediation.

Any agreement reached must be acceptable to both parties. The spouses retain control over their divorce or other family law matter.  Plus, the mediation process allows them to be more creative than the courts in designing an amicable, workable solution. The tone of mediation is one of working together to reach a solution rather than trying to get a “pound of flesh” from the other party. Issues are resolved in the privacy of Freed Marcroft’s office or virtually — not in a public courtroom.

Read: ADR & Divorce

Read: Settlement & Divorce

Mediation vs. Litigation

In litigation, each party presents their case to the judge, who decides who “wins” and who “loses.” In contrast, divorce mediation is an informal and confidential process in which the parties, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, jointly make the decisions that will impact their and their children’s lives. The mediator cannot compel either party to do anything, and any agreement reached must be mutually agreeable.  As a result, it is often faster and less expensive than litigation and helps people learn to solve their problems cooperatively rather than attack each other.

In our experience, spouses who mediate often are more satisfied with the process, timeline, and ultimate result than those in traditional divorce litigations.

Read: Divorce Information & Facts

Freed Marcroft’s mediators have supplemented their formal legal education with advanced mediation training.  They serve as skilled and competent mediators committed to helping clients reach resolutions.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC