No Dukes

From the Real Divorce Mediation Blog

I liken litigation to duking it out. There are three main drawbacks to litigation. (Yes, this blog has a bias.) They are:

1. Impact on Children
2. Cost
3. Impact on You

Never underestimate the impact on your children that protracted litigation with your spouse will have. Your kids are already upset that your divorce is about to make a huge change in their lives. It’s also hard for them to hear one parent disrespect the other. You’re their parents. They love you. So think about what it will feel like to them for their parents to get into a bitter lawsuit.

Litigation is prohibitively expensive. Let’s say your divorce lawyer charges $400 per hour. Let’s say you’re angry and you want your lawyer to take your spouse’s deposition. Let’s say it takes your lawyer 10 hours to prepare for the deposition (lots of documents to review) and 8 hours to take it. That’s $8,000. You may be able to negotiate a mediated settlement, and be done with it, for less money than it would take for one deposition. Save your money for your post-divorce future.

As for the impact on you, in my experience, protracted conflict only gets more bitter, not less. Not only is that a lot of wasted energy, it’s looking backward instead of looking forward. Save your energy for something positive, like your post-divorce life.



Nancy Hudgins

Nancy Hudgins, a San Francisco mediator and lawyer, began specializing in civil litigation in the 1970's. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, chiefly in personal injury, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability lawsuits, but also in a wide variety of complex litigation, including civil rights, fraud and class… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


Court Funding

I heard LA Superior Court Presiding Judge Lee Edmon speak at a County Bar Association lunch recently about the current dire state of court funding. Due to the state budget...

By Joe Markowitz

Mediation and the Language and Culture of Politics

“In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.”  All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and...

By Kenneth Cloke

Why the Federal Budget Negotiations Matter to Women

As Bill Maher so hilariously explained, the three primary servings on America’s debt plate are social security, medicare/medicaid and defense. All other government expenses are just garnish – a sprig...

By Victoria Pynchon

Find a Mediator