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Divorce VS. Divorce Mediation: What’s The Difference?

Divorce VS. Divorce Mediation: What’s The Difference?

Not all options for ending a marriage work for every couple, and there are alternative methods of settling a divorce. Each has its pros and cons. Here, two popular California techniques are reviewed, traditional divorce or litigation and divorce mediation.

Although a traditional divorce is labeled litigation, that does not necessarily mean a divorce case ends up in court. Most divorce cases settle out-of-court. Divorce is a lawsuit because it usually involves two people in an adversarial situation with highly charged emotions and little desire to cooperate.


When two parties are hostile and unwilling to compromise from the start, a traditional divorce with attorneys as negotiators could offer a divorcing couple their best solution for settlement. Divorce attorneys are highly skilled negotiators at the beginning of a divorce case. They work to arrive at a resolution without going to court if possible.

However, if a settlement is unworkable, a divorce attorney takes a client’s case to court and fights to win the best possible outcome for those clients.

The traditional divorce process usually works best in relationships involving:

  • Domestic violence;
  • Substance abuse;
  • An imbalance of power; and
  • A lack of honesty and respect.

If your case does end up in court, the judge decides what becomes of your children, property, and finances. While that is a risk to take, sometimes it is unavoidable.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation brings the divorcing couple together in the hopes of resolving the divorce without conflict and bypassing litigation. Mediation is informal and requires open, honest communication. The parties are not permitted to argue or exhibit hostility towards the other.

In divorce mediation, both parties have the chance to speak. There is a third-party mediator that does not take anyone’s side, and the parties are encouraged to come up with workable solutions to their problems. The goal is a peaceful end to conflict and a compromised solution.

Mandatory mediation is necessary for divorces in California when there is a dispute over the custody of children. The court will not rule in these matters until the parents have gone through mediation with a court-appointed counselor trained in these issues. The parents’ divorce case may go through traditional litigation or continue through mediation alongside their custody issues.

Some possible benefits of divorce mediation include:

  • Relatively less expensive than the traditional divorce;
  • Settled in a confidential environment instead of a public courtroom;
  • Allows parties to make their own decisions instead of a judge deciding for them; and
  • Less time-consuming than the traditional divorce process.

At divorce mediation, attorneys act as advisors on the law and negotiation strategies. If there is no agreement, the divorce case proceeds to the more traditional divorce process.

An Experienced Torrance, California, Divorce Attorney Can Help

Divorce attorneys add valuable advice and support through both the traditional divorce process and divorce mediation. No matter what route you take, an experienced family law attorney, like Bruce A. Mandel, can advise you on California divorce laws and achieving the best outcome for you as an individual.

Before you commit to any settlement, call Bruce A. Mandel, Divorce & Family Law, to learn what types of agreements are acceptable to the courts and how to get what you want out of your divorce. Find us on Facebook.