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Mediation vs. Litigation


The purpose of mediation is to assist you and your spouse to make your own decisions about your divorce because you know better than any judge how to evaluate your situation.

For years, you and your spouse have known each other, your children, their needs, your economic situation, and thousands of other details about your family and finances that no judge will ever know.

Even with the best legal representation by a divorce attorney, there is a risk when placing the fate of you and your children in the hands of a judge who does not know your family and your situation. Through mediation, negotiation or collaboration, our San Diego divorce lawyers can facilitate communication, open understanding, and focus on what each party truly wants and needs, and what is best for their children.

Litigation can result in decisions neither party wanted. For example, if the most important thing you want in your divorce is "A" and your spouse primarily wants "B," a judge could award "B" to you and "A" to your spouse. One major advantage of mediation/negotiation/collaboration over litigation is that in mediation you can bargain for "A" while your spouse may offer you more if he can achieve "B." Result? Both parties avoid the extraordinary expense of litigation and also achieve a better result.

Read client testimonials and reviews of Nancy Bickford

At Bickford Blado & Botros, we know that we will save you emotional and financial costs if we can help you avoid the litigation process. Some of our cases settle at the outset. Others require some court intervention (for example, to help with custody or support) and then settle with both parties agreeing to a written settlement agreement.

Some cases require a bit of fact-finding (known as "discovery") before the parties are ready to settle. Other cases require a great deal of discovery before the parties understand all of the facts needed to settle a case. We are proud to present a track record of settling the vast majority of our cases without going to trial. In fact, many if not most of our cases never require any court intervention whatsoever.

San Diego County is known throughout the state of California for being less litigious, and more settlement-oriented, than other counties. The main reason that the divorce attorneys in San Diego settle such a large percentage of our cases is that we have a dedicated group of Certified Family Law Specialists who have taken the time to receive specialized training to qualify them to serve as settlement judges in cases before the cases go to trial.


Some divorces simply cannot be resolved through divorce mediation, negotiations or collaborative efforts. From time to time, we have cases where our client's spouse has not been reasonable in any negotiations. Further, there are a few attorneys who prefer to litigate rather than settle.

While we understand the litigation path may be more costly to you both emotionally and financially, when faced with no other alternative, we are prepared to be highly aggressive at trial and to fight for your needs.

Moreover, if we can show a judge that we have been reasonable from the outset with regard to our settlement proposals, we may be able to obtain an order that your spouse pay for some of the litigation costs you unnecessarily incurred.

Nancy J. Bickford, CFLS, MBA, CPA, is a divorce lawyer who has gone through this training and she volunteers numerous hours of her time each year to prepare, and to serve as a settlement judge to help her colleagues settle their cases out of court.

With this experience as a settlement judge Nancy J. Bickford has gained an understanding of how your case is likely to be decided if litigated, and she can better guide you through a settlement process that is likely to yield results similar to the results you could expect from litigation, but with far less financial and emotional cost to you.

Reach out to a divorce lawyer in San Diego at Bickford Blado & Botros via this contact form or by phone at (858) 793-8884 if you wish to schedule a consultation. We are conveniently located in North County San Diego, near Carmel Valley and Del Mar.

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