In litigation, each client has an advocate-lawyer who seeks the best possible outcome for their client. The two sides usually attempt to settle the case. If this is not successful, a trial ensues and a judge decides the outcome.


Litigation benefits from but does not require cooperation and compromise. This approach may be preferred by those who seek advantage or fear bad faith from the other party, as well as those who want an outside authority to decide.


Litigation is often a zero-sum process where one’s gain is another’s loss. Adversarial by design, it tends to worsen conflict and negativity, which can make subsequent co-parenting all the more difficult. The more complex or fiery the case, the more it can drag on and add cost.

In trials, outcomes are unpredictable and heavily influenced by who the presiding judge is. In a busy court, the judge may not have the time to tailor the ruling for the particular needs or circumstance of the family.