Marriage & Family Mediation Center -
 
LITIGATING VS. MEDIATING MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP DISSOLUTION


MEDIATION
LITIGATION
Rate
$150.00 per hour (shared between parties)

Document preparation and filing fees:
$1000.00 (average)

Average Total  $2000-$5000



Average rate for attorneys
$300-$350 per hour for each party



Average Total:  $20,000 per party



Time Involved
Average Time:  3-6 months
(depending on needs of couple)



Average time: 2 years (depends on court schedule, litigation proceedings and discovery process)
Tone of Process
Business-like, but informal

Formal, adversarial

Role of the Law
Legal information provided by mediator, but no legal advice given
Legal information and legal advice given by counsel

Impact on Children
Children's interests are central to decision making; interim agreements possible

Children often become "pawns" in the battle between spouses

Confidentiality
Discussions and financial information are confidential

Usually no court appearances



Hearings are open to the public

Financial information is part of the public record

Several court appearances
Emotional Cost to Parties
Allows for healthy airing of diverse views and emotions

More comfortable, cooperative



Increases anxiety and stress

Little opportunity to address concerns

Stressful, adversarial
Impact on Communication
Promotes improved communication

Sets stage for joint decision making

Encourages personal responsibility
Discourages communication

Sets stage for future disagreements and possible court appearances





Decision Making
Clients make their own decisions



3rd parties (judges, attorneys, guardian ad litems, neutral evaluators, etc.) make decisions


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