When people think of divorce they think of long and drawn-out processes that are consuming both time and money. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Thanks to divorce mediation, a divorce does not have to be a drag. Mediation is a quicker and easier way to resolve divorce issues without having to go to court and have a judge decide all the difficult decisions. Here’s where you can read the difference between divorce litigation and divorce mediation as well as the cost differences.

What is divorce litigation?

Divorce litigation is the most common method of divorce. This is when both parties have a Family Court decide on the aspects of the divorce. Unfortunately, family courts are typically backlogged and outdated laws do not favor both parents equally. Depending on the parties, the litigation process could be extremely time-consuming, mentally draining, and very costly.

Litigation can be necessary for couples who cannot come to agreements for their divorce. If one party decides that they want more money, they want full custody over the children, or make impossible demands which are unagreeable with, mediation may not be for you. In situations such as these, litigation is necessary. Once in the Family Court, a judge will be the deciding factor on asset division, property division, debt, custody, alimony payments, and, in some cases, child support.

The average cost of divorce litigation is around $18,000 in California. In Los Angeles, however, the costs range from $25,000-$30,000. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Courts have been even more backed up, which has prolonged many divorce cases and has increased prices even more.

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is often a speedier and more cost-effective way to get a divorce. Mediation is when two parties come together with a neutral third party to come to agreements on divorce. Both parties would meet with the mediator at least two times, in which they will sit down and discuss the aspects of their marriage and how they want to split. A mediator would be able to decide on things such as property division, asset division, and child custody. This is the reason many divorcing couples opt for mediation first, as they get to decide on what is right and fair. In the Court system, children are placed in the middle. This makes it mentally challenging for them, as they are confused and don’t really know what to do or what to expect. With mediation, the process is much more simple and streamlined.

With mediation, a couple is able to come to agreements for a fraction of the cost of an attorney.  Mediation is also able to keep agreements private and out of the public eye. Court documents and filings are all made public, but with mediation, most of the process is completely private. The only thing that would be made public is the finalization of the divorce, as mediators are not able to finalize divorces. Once a couple is finished with the mediation process and have come to agreements on all terms, the mediator or your attorney would then need to finalize that document with the court.


Q: How long does it take to get a divorce in California?


A: California law requires the person filing for divorce must be a California resident for at least 6 months. They also must be living in the county in which they are filing for at least 3 months. On top of all of this, the divorce process takes 6 months to finalize. This cannot be shortened, as California law requires a 6 month period from the filing date to the finalizing date.


Q: What is a divorce consultant?


A: A divorce consultant is usually a professional who looks over the couple’s assets, children, property, and other aspects. They would help the mediator in deciding the best possible outcome for the couple. A divorce consultant is not necessary, but they could help in some cases.

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