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Which is better: Litigated divorce or divorce mediation?

A frequent question asked of many family law attorneys is: which is the easiest way to handle a divorce?  While most will tell you that there is no easy way to deal with divorce, those same attorneys, including many here in Washington, will tell you that possibly one of the best ways is through divorce mediation.

While divorce mediation may not be the first thing couples think about when filing for divorce, it can certainly offer them a way of keeping control of the divorce process during a time when nothing feels like you have any control over it.

With litigated divorce, the pace of the divorce proceedings are often dictated by the attorneys.  While the couple is forced to wait on the attorneys, the attorneys must in turn wait on the court system.  Some processes can take weeks even months to get solved, adding additional stress that can lead to increased emotions and serious breakdowns in communications. When people think of difficult divorce proceedings, they're usually thinking about litigated divorce.

In contrast to this you have mediated divorce.  Couples who choose this course of action are considered to be mostly in control of the pace of their divorce and can determined the parameters of their settlement agreement. We say mostly because couple who choose mediation work with a mediator who helps both parties through the legal process and advises the couple of specifics they should pay closest attention to.

It's important to point out that while mediated divorce still requires time, effort and money, by keeping the control in the hands of the couple the generally associated stresses and frustrations are greatly reduced in the end.  This often times leads to more agreeable settlements and a more cordial post-divorce relationship.

Source:  The Huffington Post, "Maintaining An Active Tempo In Your Divorce," Diane L. Danois, J.D., April 1, 2013