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Empowering Individuals To Resolve Conflict Peacefully

What are the differences between Mediation and Litigation?

FAQ written by Christine Kerian, an experienced mediation lawyer and the principal of Harmony Family Law Mediation Group in Los Angeles, CA.

Litigation is time consuming, emotionally draining, expensive, and unpredictable. With litigation, you are never certain of your outcome until a judge or jury decides who is right and who is wrong.

Mediation is becoming a more popular method to remedy some of the shortcomings of litigation.

Mediation employs a neutral third party who does not judge the case but helps facilitate a discussion, limit the issues, and put them in perspective to resolve the dispute. Mediation is less expensive, more confidential, and highly effective in resolving conflicts peacefully than litigious court battles.

Mediation versus Litigation

Mediation:Litigation:
How many attorneys are involved?Usually, only one lawyer as a neutral mediator.Each party retains a lawyer.
How does the process differ?Peaceful and Amicable.Litigious and Adversarial.
What are the cost differences?$2,500 - $.$15,000 - $.
Confidentiality?All information remains confidential.All information submitted to the court becomes part of the public record.
Who makes decisions regarding the issues?The parties communicate and brainstorm in order to formulate creative solutions.Lawyers and judges make decisions for the parties and their children.
Who makes decisions regarding what is best for the children?The parties (parents) decide what is best for their own children and they work out a parenting plan.Judges, experts, or custody evaluators decide what is best for the children.
How long does it take?The parties decided how long it will take.Court proceedings, disputes and lengthy negotiations can take several years.

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Harmony Family Law Mediation Group: If you know someone in Southern California who you think might benefit from non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution and other family law services, please share this page with them. Our experienced staff will custom tailor an affordable solution to resolve their legal issues peacefully. Our phone number is 323.663.1000.