Mediation vs Litigation Comparison


Couple abdicates decision-making

to a lawyer or judge.

Communication between the  

couple is discouraged.

Settlements are imposed by a


Lack of commitment to results due

to the lack of participation.

Children suffer adverse effects of

the battles between the parents.

Children may be used as pawns to gain

concessions from the other side.

Confrontation, bitterness & hostility

are fostered.

Dissatisfaction with agreement or

court-ordered settlement is likely  to

lean to increased litigation.

No new negotiation communication

or problem-solving skills are learned.

Unknown length of time for the

Process; the potential for long fight


Extreme costs overcomplicate and

extend the process indefinitely.

Power is an important tool, both in

hands of participants and attorneys


Couple takes responsibility for their own  


Communication is the basis that

decisions are made.

Couple designs their own settlement

with the aid of the mediator.

Strong commitment to results because

of active participation in an agreement.

Children’s benefit is the prime focus of

mediation. Good parental relationships foster positive adjustments by children.

The structure of mediation prevents

the children form being used as pawns.

More normal states occur for children.

Satisfaction with mutually achieved

agreement is owned and decreases need

for future legal confrontation.

Problem-solving, negotiation and

improved communication skills are

learned and maintained.

​Structured sessions planned agenda plus

established time frame for reaching an


​Shorter and confined time frames, and

lack of litigation extremely reduce costs.

Power, as a force in decision-making, is

virtually eliminated. Parties are equals.