As an attorney for 35 years, a trial attorney representing only women since 1992 through my six lawyer divorce and custody law firm, The co-founder of three interdisciplinary collaborative practice groups or organizations and a trained mediator who teaches divorce law to mediators for a large community mediation center, I have learned one thing for sure. No single method of achieving a divorce is the answer. I have seen women abused by mediation just as I have seen them abused by the court system. I have seen great mediators and lousy ones just as I have seen great trial lawyers as well as lousy ones. I have seen honest lawyers and dishonest lawyers. What I have learned is that a really good attorney measures the facts and gets to know their client before determining which course of action best serves a client.
Each case has it's own cast of characters who affect how a case should be handled. Each couple has between them a certain dynamic which may or may not lend itself to collaboration or mediation.Sometimes the extant dynamic can only be addressed by trial. There is no one methodology that is "the answer".
So the lesson is when someone has the only "way" to do something, be wary. Experienced attorneys never lose sight of the 4 ways to accomplish divorce, negotiate,mediate,collaborate and yes, even litigate. So make sure your attorney is comfortable in all four venues before you choose an attorney and a course of action.