What is the Difference Between Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation?

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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.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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