Voluntary Mediation vs. Court Ordered Mediation

Sometimes during a family law matter, the opposing parties utilize mediation to try to resolve the given family law issue. The positive aspect about meditation is that parties may be able to avoid the costly litigation and also take less of a toll on an emotional standpoint.

But, it is very important to learn the difference between court ordered mediation and voluntary mediation. The main differences being: how both of the mediations can come to fruition and then, how it ultimately play out.


Court-mediation means that the divorce or family law case has already been filed in court. Then, the court enters an order that requires the opposing parties to attend mediation. Generally, the court order selects the given mediator.

The mediation order will set up on how the costs will be allocated and sets the minimum length of time that the opposing parties will to attempt the mediation. The given rule in Missouri is that the court can only order opposing parties to attend a two hour allotted time space of mediation. It varies from state to state.

Voluntary Mediation

Voluntary mediation tends to take place before the family law case and/or the divorce has been filed. The opposing parties are about to come to an agreement, and then are able to select a mediator of their choice. The opposing parties also typically agree on how the payments will be taken care of and they can also participate for however long they desire.

With both approaches, the results and successes can vary. All things being equal, however, mediation can tend to have more positive results in the opinion of many when mediation is voluntary and the parties both desire to participate. When mediation takes place before litigation is filed, it can also lead to decreased tensions that can help further the spirit of settlement.

Contact a Mediation Attorney in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and Beyond Today

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about the mediation process, the attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC can help. We have offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. You can contact us online or by calling one of our convenient office locations.