How Mediation Can Help In Your Divorce
Most couples seeking a divorce prefer not to be engaged in a long, drawn-out court battle that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good news is, there is a process called mediation that allows you to work through your differences outside of court in an amicable, cost-effective way. In fact, studies have shown that mediated divorces have a more positive impact on families and children than litigated divorces.
What is Mediation?
During mediation, a trained and impartial mediator helps you and your spouse identify, discuss, negotiate, and ultimately resolve all issues related to your divorce such as property division, child custody and support, and spousal support. The end goal is to craft a mutually beneficial settlement that legally ends the marriage.
Advantages of Mediation
- No court intervention – you have total control over decision-making. Your fate is decided by you, not a judge.
- Your privacy is maintained as discussions are completely confidential and not a matter of public record.
- You will be in an informal, comfortable, non-adversarial environment instead of in a courtroom.
- Hands-on approach that fosters collaboration and less conflict
- Outside experts such as accountants, child psychologists, and valuation professionals may be brought in to offer insight and assist the process.
- Scheduling is flexible and based on your availability
- Significant cost and time savings
Mediation is Mandatory in California for Child Custody Cases
California Family Code requires mediation in cases of child custody disputes. A California court will not rule on issues regarding children until the parents participate in mediation conducted by a trained mediator selected by the court.
The Role of a Divorce Attorney in Mediation
Mediation is not a substitute for the services of a qualified divorce attorney. You and your spouse should obtain independent legal counsel during the mediation process. A divorce lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and options, coach you through the negotiations, and offer creative settlement ideas. Furthermore, they can prepare the necessary divorce paperwork and submit to court for approval once you and your spouse come up with a workable agreement you are both satisfied with.