What you Need to Know About Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation

If you find yourself in a contested divorce where you and your spouse cannot agree on its terms, do not panic. It is no secret that the divorce process can be stressful, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you are getting a divorce, you may want to consider options outside of litigation in the courts. By choosing to go through the mediation or arbitration processes, you may help mitigate the emotional and financial stress of divorce. If this sounds like something that might work for your situation, please read on.

What does litigation mean?

Essentially, if you wish to go through the litigation process, both you and your spouse will state your case in the courtroom, and either a judge or a jury will decide the terms of your divorce. It is generally best to avoid this process, as the outcome is usually out of your control. Additionally, the litigation process is usually more time consuming and more expensive than hiring arbitrators or a mediator. If you choose to go through the litigation process, you may also set yourself up for any of the legal pitfalls that the litigation process generally entails. This is why couples are choosing mediation or arbitration more often than ever. 

What does a mediator do?

The main goal of a mediator is to help you and your spouse civilly reach the terms of your divorce outside of a courtroom setting. Basically, a mediator is an unbiased, neutral third party, who is also usually an attorney. He or she will sit down with you and your spouse and listen to both of your wishes regarding the terms of your divorce. He or she will then propose an unbiased compromise, which will hopefully result in both you and your spouse’s satisfaction. A mediator’s job is to diffuse the tension that the litigation process often entails. This may benefit you, your spouse, and your children.

What does an arbitrator do?

Arbitration is basically the same concept as mediation, except the arbitration process generally involves more than one arbitrator. Generally, both you and your spouse each select an unbiased arbitrator, and from there, the two arbitrators will appoint a third unbiased arbitrator. The three arbitrators will listen to both of your wishes and will vote on the terms of your divorce from there. Ultimately, the hope is that you and your spouse will agree on the terms the arbitrators suggest and avoid the courtroom setting altogether. 

Contact our New Jersey firm

Before taking any sort of legal action, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an experienced attorney. Contact The Radol Law Firm to discuss any divorce and family law matters you may be faced with.