The Difference between Divorce Mediation and Divorce Litigation

Posted:  Nov 30, 2020

One of the foremost stressors of a lifetime is going through a divorce. Conflicts over the division of property, finances, and parenting arrangements can rapidly escalate. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Primarily, each person chooses between divorce mediation and divorce litigation. Knowing the difference between the two choices paves the way to an efficient and effective conclusion. At Stevens Law offices, we offer both and are here to clarify the options.

Divorce Mediation


·      While a Divorce Mediator plays an active role throughout divorce negotiations, the mediation process is non-binding. He or she does not decide the divorce outcome.

·      In fact, the mediator is a neutral facilitator for discussions who assists both sides to come to an agreement in all aspects of their divorce.

·      Furthermore, neither party is required to agree on anything by the end of mediation, but it is the end goal. Both partners involved have full control over decisions and matters discussed.

·      Divorce Mediation offers a more discrete, private space to debate and resolve divorce details rather than in open court.

·      It further offers a more affordable, less stressful option to dissolve a marriage than litigation.

·      The Divorce Mediator may or may not be a lawyer. Nonetheless, he or she will be well-versed in divorce and family law.

·      Any mediator can help isolate the people from the difficulties, thus preserving relationships that could be irreparably harmed in combative court litigation.

·      Typically, mediation is a quicker means of resolving a dispute than going through a court system.

·      Parties should be aware that if mediation does not work, you’ll need to start over with litigation.

·      A poorly drafted divorce mediation agreement can be unenforceable and challenged by either party. Mediation can be unfavourable to one party if the mediator is not experienced or favours the other spouse. That’s why it pays to hire an experienced Divorce Mediator.

·      Ultimately, Divorce Mediation offers a less adversarial approach when settling a divorce.


Divorce Litigation


·      Divorce Litigation is the traditional method for divorcing couples. Hiring a divorce lawyer and going through litigation often involves costly court proceedings.

·      The judge takes control over making decisions during litigation in a court. He or she may determine divorce agreements after weighing each side and considering relevant laws and policies.

·      Litigation can lead to a more stressful, public course to take for divorce.

·      However, not all divorce litigation ends in court as couples may reach an ‘out-of-court’ agreement.

·      Divorce Litigation may be the best option when one party does not wish to go through with a divorce. Mediation requires the full cooperation of both parties and voluntary disclosure of all financial information.

·      In the case that spouses separate and are unable to come to a mutually agreed-upon settlement, divorce litigation is typically required to make final and temporary decisions regarding the division of assets and debts, child custody, and other legal issues.

·      A highly skilled Divorce Litigator strives for a reasonable settlement with the other party.

·      In the end, divorce litigation may result if mediation sessions prove unsuccessful. However, mediation is a proven process that saves time and money.

Emphatically, the best divorce is one devoid of drama. It’s always in the best interest of children and spouses to save thousands of dollars on unnecessary legal fees due to a bitter divorce.

Remember, you have options as to how to get through your divorce in Canada. Strive for an amicable divorce that works for both partners. Our legal team is here to help you find your way through to a brighter future.



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Parksville, B.C.
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