What is the Difference Between Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation?

Divorce can be a very complex and involved process, both financially, and, of course, emotionally. Sometimes, it is very challenging to navigate all the technical aspects of divorce–especially while trying to mitigate any emotional stress as well. However, with the help of an experienced and caring attorney, along with a bit of self-education, it can be done. We understand that divorce is a huge decision, which is why we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions concerning the divorce process below:

What does litigation mean?

There are essentially three different processes through which you can negotiate the terms of your divorce. Generally, couples choose to hire arbitrators or a mediator, as doing so may drastically lower the cost and duration of the divorce process as a whole. However, if you choose to go through the litigation process, both you and your spouse will state your case in a courtroom, and either a judge or a jury will make a decision regarding the terms of your divorce. Unfortunately, the outcome is largely beyond your control. This is why couples sometimes choose to hire arbitrators or a mediator.

What is an arbitrator?

An arbitrator is usually a lawyer (though he or she does not have to be) who will help you and your spouse come to a fair agreement. Traditionally, the arbitration process goes as follows: Both you and your spouse select an unbiased arbitrator. Next, both arbitrators will decide on a third unbiased arbitrator, and from there, they will listen to both you and your spouse’s desired terms. After carefully listening to you both, the arbitrators will then take a vote and establish the terms of your divorce based on the majority vote. Essentially, arbitrators seek to resolve disputes in a manner that is as fair, efficient and upfront as possible, while simultaneously avoiding the courtroom atmosphere.

What does a divorce mediator do?

A divorce mediator, not unlike an arbitrator, seeks to resolve contested divorce matters both calmly and out of the courtroom. However, while there is generally more than one arbitrator involved in the arbitration process, there is usually only one mediator involved in the mediation process. If you and your spouse hire a mediator, the mediator will listen to both you and your spouse’s desired terms. From there, the mediator will try and arrange a compromise from an unbiased perspective. Oftentimes, hiring a mediator diffuses the tension that normally accompanies couples trying to settle the terms of their divorce on their own. This is usually the cheapest and most efficient way you can settle your divorce affairs. If you feel going this route may be for you, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney.

Contact a trustworthy New York attorney

Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.