When is Litigation a Better Option Over Mediation?

Posted on February 18th, 2024

Litigation v. Mediation


While mediation is a valuable tool for resolving many disputes, some situations demand the formalities and authoritative decision-making of litigation.  Litigation may be a better option especially in cases involving complex legal issues or significant power imbalances.  In scenarios where your attorney must use legal precedent to make a good faith argument for the application or extension of the law to your case, the structured environment of the courtroom is irreplaceable. Deciding on the best course of action requires careful consideration of all factors involved. If you are wondering whether to opt for litigation or mediation, our team of legal professionals is here to help.

Divorce mediation is unique because the family court is a court of equity.  That said, not all mediators are alike.  Your attorney has a say in the selection of mediator the court will appoint in your case.  Both parties must usually attend mediation before the court will set their matter for trial.  Mediation is one of the most important procedures in every divorce case.

Three Mediator Styles

  1. Evaluative mediator
    • No-nonsense, works quickly and efficiently
    • Works best when short on time
    • Offers solutions based on experience
    • Ideal for concrete problems
  2. Transformative mediator
    • Creates time and space for parties to hear and understand one another
    • Places a high value on emotional support and healing during mediation
    • Ideal when conflicts are deeply personal
  3. Facilitative mediator
    • The most familiar style of mediation
    • A blend of evaluative and transformative approaches
    • Adaptable based on parties’ changing needs
    • Able to ask questions, normalize perspectives, and validate both sides

Mediation and mediators are not “one size fits all.”  We will help you make the most out of the mediation process.  If your lawyer believes you can get a better result from the court than you can get by agreement, then you should be prepared to litigate your case.