When possible, it's in both parties' best interest to try to resolve their divorce through mediation. Mediation gives the parties control to negotiate the terms of their divorce and resolve issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony without intervention from the court. Furthermore, the process of mediation is much less stressful, time-consuming, and expensive than litigation, and is very helpful in fostering communication. During mediation, the parties come together with a neutral mediator whose job it is to help the parties work through conflict, facilitate negotiations, and reach a settlement based on the parties' own terms.
There are times when a divorce needs to be battled out in court, and this situation is referred to as litigation. Litigation is necessary for those cases in which the parties cannot seem to agree on any aspect of their divorce, and therefore are not able to settle the divorce through mediation or alternative dispute resolution. Because litigated divorce cases take place in court, they often take a lot longer to settle and finalize than those divorces resolved through mediation. And because it tends to take longer to resolve a divorce in court, the cost of litigation is often much higher than the cost of mediation. Furthermore, contested divorces tend to be more emotionally taxing, stressful, and difficult on everyone involved, especially children.
With all that said, both mediation and litigation are effective ways to settle a divorce. If you are interested in learning more about either one of these forums, Claery & Hammond, LLP would be happy to meet with you to discuss your case and determine what your legal objectives entail. To schedule an appointment, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP today.