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Let Me Help You Decide Whether to Litigate or Mediate!


When considering divorce clients are usually familiar with going to court and fighting. But that is not the only way to get a divorce! More and more clients are learning about and wanting a peaceful alternative.

These days during consultations, clients ask more about the difference between “litigation” and “mediation.” Believe it or not, there are those spouses who only want to fight. But for those open to a non-adversarial option there is a more positive and peaceful solution – it’s mediation.

Both paths—litigation and mediation—are an option, but the process and the outcome can be very different.


Under the traditional system, originally imported from England, couples went to court to obtain a divorce.

Each spouse hires his or her own "advocate," and they engage in what is normally an adversarial process. The steps can include negotiation between the attorneys. If or when this is not working, there is always the threat of

"going to court," where a judge will make decisions about all the issues, including custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of property.

The court process is particularly daunting. It includes serving a summons and complaint, an answer, and exchanging financial information and documents. This exchange is called "discovery," and it is, in fact, a way to find

out the facts about the parties' finances. It can include subpoenas served on banks, businesses and third parties. There may also be applications made to the court (motions) for various types of relief, such as temporary child and spousal support,

interim custody, and counsel fees.

Once you get locked into the system, it is extremely hard to find your way out. It is expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Ultimately, it may be the only vehicle for warring couples of a certain ilk. In some cases, I call this the vehicle used to “punish.” This path is often attractive to spouses who want revenge, enjoy conflict, and seek to maintain control over the other spouse.


This path to divorce involves working with an unbiased mediator, usually a lawyer, whose function is to assist a couple in a peaceful process, to make decisions together, and arrive at an agreement that is fair to both. For people who have never experienced it, mediation is surprisingly and stunningly effective. It is quick, inexpensive, and nonadversarial. It is a three-part process, consisting of the negotiations, the preparation of an agreement, and preparation and submission of the divorce documents to a judge for signature.

In the last decade, mediation has become the popular choice of many divorcing couples. In fact, during the pandemic, while the courts have been closed, couples have been embracing mediation. It’s less expensive, not as time consuming and much less stressful!

I have guided many spouses on how to safely discuss divorce with their partner, and the best way to introduce mediation as a positive alternative to going to court.

If you are thinking of divorcing and would like to discuss litigation vs. mediation, call me. We can discuss the details of your marriage and select the best path for you.

For those of you not quite ready for divorce there are other options, like a separation or postnuptial agreement. We can explore these options as well!

Call me today and I will answer all your questions! My consultations, which are free, are informative and comprehensive.

All our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.

I look forward to helping you.

Stay healthy and safe!

Warm regards,


When it comes to your future and that of your family, learn more about all your divorce options!

Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner, Esq. to schedule your free consultation today! 212.734.1551.