High net worth couples signing divorce papers

Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation: What’s Best for High-Net-Worth Couples?

By Michael DiFalco

When it comes to settling your affairs in a divorce, there are two main strategies that most couples use: litigation or mediation. Litigation is a court-led process, while mediation happens in a less formal environment where the couple comes to an agreement before meeting in court. 

While both strategies have advantages and disadvantages, which option is best for couples with a high net worth? Here’s more about how each solution works to help you determine which option is right for handling your high-value assets. 

Advantages of Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is often considered to be the easiest and least expensive way to handle a separation. Rather than stepping right into a lengthy legal battle, both partners meet with a mediator to mutually decide key things like who should get which assets. 

This option can be very helpful for couples that can cooperate and compromise together. If the spouses can come to an amicable agreement, both parties will also have more control over the outcome of the divorce. For couples with few assets to split, mediation may even be faster than litigation.

When Not to Use Divorce Mediation

Though divorce mediation can be a helpful strategy for some couples, there are a few situations where it may not be viable:

  • The couple cannot come to an agreement
  • There is a power imbalance
  • The separation involves domestic abuse
  • A partner is suspected of hiding assets
  • There are complex issues involving significant assets

For high-net-worth couples, mediation can be particularly complicated. You may have a lot of assets to go over, and while some people work with a divorce lawyer through mediation, many choose to represent themselves. Attempting to manage the entire process alone may lead to a different outcome than you’re hoping for. 

Should high net-worth couples use divorce litigation?

Divorce litigation is a more structured procedure than mediation. The partners will meet under the guidance of a judge with legal representation at their side. Though this process is lengthier and often more costly than mediation, it can be a good choice for high-net-value couples.

Even if you and your spouse get along well enough to undergo mediation, there are a lot of factors to consider when managing a lot of high-value property. From retirement accounts and pensions to pieces of real estate, splitting numerous assets can be very complicated in a less structured environment. 

Getting a litigated divorce will not only help you navigate the complex details of your separation but also resolve any disagreements that may crop up during the divorce.

How to Navigate a High-Net-Worth Divorce

Regardless of your net worth, navigating a divorce is rarely an easy process. That said, it’s even more complex and emotionally charged when dealing with a lot of valuable assets. In this situation, mediation may make the divorce more complicated and challenging than it would be with litigation.

While litigation can be a good choice for couples with a high net worth, consulting a divorce attorney is the first step you should take. Lawyers understand the intricacies of divorce law, and they can use their skill and legal acumen to help you build a roadmap that is suited to your needs. 

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

If you want compassionate guidance through your high-net-worth divorce, turn to the experienced team at Aiello & DiFalco LLP. We provide trustworthy and caring advice to couples throughout Garden City, NY, and we’re committed to helping you reach a favorable outcome in your divorce settlement. 

Are you considering divorce and want to speak with a family law attorney? Contact us today, schedule a free legal consultation, and let us help you.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.