Divorce mediation is an alternative process to a traditional courtroom divorce. It involves the divorcing parties coming together, discussing their expectations for their divorce and reaching durable, mutual agreements about how their lives will proceed once their marriage is over. In California, divorce mediation does not involve a judge or other third-party decision-maker; everything must be agreed between the parties. It is up to the spouses, with the help of their mediator, to move the process forward to a conclusion.
When the divorcing couple is able to compromise their differences aside and seek creative solutions to property division, parenting and support arrangements, the divorce mediation can be a successful undertaking. Mediation is not just for spouses who agree on everything – it is not uncommon for disagreements and conflict to arise in mediation. What makes mediation different is the way in which the parties, with their mediation, address and resolve those conflicts on terms that work for their family, and which don’t require costly litigation.
From time to time, though, couples may discover that they simply cannot come to terms in mediation on all of the issues that need to be resolved. Despite their best efforts, there may be differences of opinion which cannot be bridged. In such cases, however, there are alternative to having a courtroom battle.
More than 95% of all divorce cases settle by agreement at some point. Experienced attorneys can be very helpful in explaining what could happen if the matter were presented to a judge in California, and guiding you towards an agreement that avoids the uncertainty of letting a judge decide your fate.
Readers with more questions about mediation may wish to seek out the assistance of professionals who include mediation in their family law practices.