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Mediation or Litigation for child custody?

Salt Lake City, UT |

My (ex) husband and I are getting divorced and have to figure out who gets custody of our child. Is it better to have mediation or litigation?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Litigation is always an adversarial process, mediation is an alternative that works very well for many families. It is impossible to know which is best for you without knowing you or anything about your circumstances. I suggest you consult with local attorneys who know you or who at least may be able to speak with you on the phone for more information about which approach may be right for you. Some attorneys do both litigation and mediation, so look for those attorneys first. You can find attorneys by searching among the profiles here on Avvo. Good luck!.

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


  2. I agree with the previous answer.

    However, some states have implemented what's called "collaborative law" which kind of takes the adversarial nature out of the process and allows families to come to resolutions which are best for all parties involved. In Maryland, there's been a lot of success with it. It's similar to mediation but a different approach is taken.

    You may want to see if that's something you can explore, especially if you're trying to avoid the headaches that litigation can often bring.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.


  3. I agree with both of the above, and merely point out that mediation (if both sides are willing to come to agreement, and the mediator is good) can avoid not only the cost of litigation, particularly if settlement is likely to come at the end of that process, as often happens, but also the litigation process often creates a battle siege mentality that likely will not go away at the end of litigation. At that point, you are still tied to each other through the child, and parents and child will almost certainly suffer going forward. Still, it's a good idea to have a lawyer advising you throughout the mediation so you know your rights, your alternatives, and what an acceptable settlement might look like.

    This advice was intended to be general in nature and not to be taken as a legal opinion or legal advice and was not deemed to create an attorney-client relationship