Mediation vs. Litigation

by Mary Stearns-Montgomery
in Divorce

If you are considering filing for divorce or recently decided to get a divorce you may be wondering what is the difference between mediation and litigation and which one is right for you? Here are some pros and cons for mediation and litigation to help you decide which is the right one for you.

Mediation - using the services of a neutral, third party whose purpose is to help both spouses reach an agreement to the terms of their divorce.


  • Mediation is a good alternative if you are trying to save money during the divorce process.
  • The mediation process can move along more quickly than with litigation.
  • You have more control over the outcome of the decisions made during mediation than you do in a courtroom.
  • You have an opportunity to reach more creative solutions to problems than you would in a courtroom. You also have the ability to walk away if both parties cannot come to an agreement.


  • Both parties have to agree to all terms and conditions for the case to end.
  • If an agreement cannot be made you cannot get back any time or money you spent on mediation and will have to go through litigation.
  • It is possible to get an inexperienced mediator that may negatively affect the outcome of mediation.

Litigation - the process of taking a case through court.


  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome during litigation you can appeal the case.
  • It may be a better option when emotional or physical abuse is involved.


  • Litigation can easily become very expensive.
  • Depending on the circumstances of the case, the case last for several months or years.
  • Litigation can often further strain a relationship and may cause resentment.


To further understand the pros and cons of mediation and litigation and to determine what is right for you contact a family law attorney.