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Divorce Q&A: Litigate or Mediate?


Mediation is amicable, allows you to settle your case, and helps you and your spouse cooperate better after divorce. Litigation is contentious, involves a significant amount of time in court, and can make for a difficult relationship following your divorce, especially if you’re co-parenting any children.

As is the case with all decisions you’ll make in divorce, there are pros and cons you must consider before proceeding with any option. This is especially true when you’re considering how you want to move forward with your divorce and which strategy makes the most sense for you and your spouse.

In this article, we discuss litigation vs. mediation and the considerations you must be mindful of before moving forward with any option.

Defining Litigation and Mediation

Before we compare litigation and mediation, it’s important you understand what litigation and mediation mean at a basic level.

  • Litigation: When you litigate a case, you rely on the court system to resolve all issues for you. This means you will also go to trial rather than settle your case. At trial, your judge will rule on all disputed issues you and your spouse can’t agree upon. These rulings will be finalized in your divorce judgment.
  • Mediation: Mediation is a common form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows you to settle your issues outside of court. You will work with a neutral third party, an attorney, to discuss your disagreements. The attorney will provide guidance to reach compromises on all issues and you can settle your divorce without a trial.

Why Litigate?

If you and your spouse don’t get along and can’t work out issues, you’re likely wasting your time in mediation. Litigation will allow you to streamline your case and prevent wasting time and money on a mediator if the process isn’t going to fare successfully.

Often, couples with significant assets also turn to litigation because they cannot agree on how to divide property or don’t trust that their spouse is disclosing all the information necessary for equitable distribution.

Why Mediate?

Mediation allows for a less contentious divorce. Moreover, it is easier on children and allows parents to make decisions that are in the best interests of their children rather than to fight about issues simply for the sake of “winning” the case.

When compared to litigation, mediation is typically less expensive and takes less time. If you get along with your spouse and believe you can work out agreements to issues, mediation should be an option you consider.

Weigh Your Options for Naperville Divorce at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we understand that the needs and complexities of every case are different. That’s why throughout our 35 years of service to Naperville and the surrounding communities, we evaluate and recommend a course of action that makes the most sense for your situation.

If you’re confused as to whether you should litigate or mediate or want to discuss your options in greater detail, contact us for your free 30-minute consultation at 630-470-9990 or fill out our simple online form. We look forward to speaking to you and offering our assistance as you proceed with your divorce.

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.