The benefits of mediation in a California divorce

Although court litigation may be best for some couples, mediation is an option that may offer several benefits.

While terminating a marriage can be emotional and overwhelming for some California couples, there are ways that some couples can simplify the process. People who are able to discuss the details of their separation in a non-confrontational way may be best suited for divorce mediation. Through the mediation process, couples can negotiate the terms of their own divorce settlement with minimal help from the courts. Although this option is not ideal for every couple, it does offer people some definite benefits when it comes to saving time, money and stress.

Understanding the mediation process

When entering into mediation, couples are able to meet in a non-formal location in the presence of a divorce mediator. Mediators are neutral, and while they may offer answers to legal questions and help to ensure everything is being included in the divorce settlement, they cannot give personalized legal advice to either party. Each party has the option of bringing an attorney with them to the mediation sessions. However, lawyers are not required to attend the appointments.

During the session, couples will go over certain issues, such as property division, child custody, parenting plans, child support and alimony. Once they have included all of the details in the settlement, an attorney will submit the plan into the court for a judge to approve.

Benefits of mediation

Since mediation sessions occur outside of court, there are no court fees to contend with. In addition, couples are able to schedule the sessions around their personal schedules rather than wait for a set court date. Not only is this more convenient for divorcing couples who may already be struggling with a major life transition, it can also help to speed up the entire divorce process.

There are several other advantages to going through mediation as opposed to court mediation. These include the following:

  • Sessions are informal and non-confrontational in tone.
  • Couples are able to customize their arrangement rather than follow a preset formula set by the state.
  • Settlements may be created in just one or two mediation sessions.

Studies show that people who go through mediation are often able to maintain more positive relationships post-divorce than those who go through litigation. This is ideal for parents and business partners who must continue a relationship after the divorce is finalized.

Why enlist the help of an attorney?

You may be left wondering why you should obtain an attorney if one is not required for mediation. Lawyers may provide critical information and insight when it comes to dealing with mediation cases. It is helpful to have a legal professional in your corner to stand up for your rights.