Divorce Mediator vs. Litigator: How Do They Compare?

divorce-mediator-vs-litigatorDivorce can be a difficult and expensive process, especially litigated divorce. Litigation isn’t cheap after all, and you may have to wait a while before your divorce is closed out and finalized. However, to avoid the costs and draining timetables of litigation, you could consider hiring a trusted divorce mediator. 

Divorce mediators are lawyers who choose to work with clients as a neutral party, and typically know more about the divorce process itself – which comes with a slew of family benefits. This is the case at the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens. Still, your family’s needs will determine whether your divorce requires a litigator or a mediator. Discover the differences between a divorce mediator vs. litigator before choosing your path.


What is a Divorce Mediator?

A divorce mediator is an attorney who meets couples during the divorce process to establish the necessary marital agreements outside of the courtroom. Divorce mediators are often trained in a variety of complementary fields, such as psychology, communication, conflict resolution, and negotiation, and hold law degrees. But rather than serving as litigators, they choose to act as unbiased third parties who work outside of court

Mediators are also typically independent and work on an hourly fee, though those with legal training tend to work on retainer. They can help with anything from parenting plans and property division to custody battle stalemates and typically pose lower costs and shorter timetables than litigation with an attorney. Still, litigation has its purpose.


Divorce Mediator vs. Litigator: How They Compare


Mediators are Unbiased

Due to their differing goals, training, and rates, divorce mediators and litigators work in vastly different ways. Mediators are trained professionals hired by divorcing couples to help them through their divorce process. The mediator won’t take sides and will be unbiased. Their goal is to offer a neutral perspective and help their clients reach mutual agreements on parenting plans, custody decisions, and more, rather than “winning” a legal battle in court. 

Mediation Offers More Control

Since mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, divorcees are able to make their own family decisions – rather than leaving decisions to a judge with no knowledge of your family dynamic.

Mediators Hold No Legal Power

Mediators don’t have any power in the court proceedings and cannot make decisions on behalf of the couple. The litigator, however, has the power to make decisions on behalf of their client in an effort to win either custody, property, or whatever marital conflict is on the table. While a mediator is able to provide information and help the couple reach a settlement, they can’t make decisions on behalf of the couple.

Litigators Are Hired to “Win”

Divorce litigators, on the other hand, are legal representatives hired by individuals to represent them in court. They take a clear side, advocate for their clients, and provide information and help them win the case. 


When Litigation Is Necessary

Some marital conflicts are simply too heated to mediate – which provides purpose to litigation. Not all divorces can be mediated, and sometimes, legal battles are the outcome. But if you and your spouse are able to talk through your marital issues, it’s likely worth avoiding the costs, timetables, and lack of control attached to litigated divorce. Consider consulting an Orange County divorce mediator to kick off the process.


Consult an Orange County Divorce Mediator

At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will help you achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services, or contact us online for a free consultation.

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