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Quick Summary of the

Differences Between Court and Mediation:


Judges and the law control outcome Attorneys and clients control the outcome
Takes place in court – formal Takes place at an office – informal
Judge makes decisions for you You and other party make your decisions
Risk because the judge has broad discretion Certainty – avoid risk of outcome in court
Costly, whether you win or lose  Less costly in the long run
Time consuming with many details Quick because it looks at the big picture
No idea how long final result will take You’re usually finished the day of mediation
Decision based on the law (not very flexible) Decision based on your goals
Win/lose structure Compromise and possibly a win/win
Even “winning” takes a huge emotional toll Relief of a finished legal situation
Public forum, even with embarrassing marital fault or child custody testimony Private forum.  Fault is not the focus nor is it part of “the record” in a court room
Adversarial – different goals Part adversarial and part cooperation 
Full disclosure and penalty of perjury  More trust is involved






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