What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigating an action in court with your spouse through attorneys. Instead of using the court and a judge to make decisions, parties who decide to use mediation work with a neutral third party mediator to negotiate issues concerning child custody and support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts. Oftentimes the parties will also work with individual attorneys to ensure that they are fully informed of their legal rights to and process the necessary paperwork.

The mediator will help you to resolve issues through a process in which the mediator will:

  • Identify the needs of each party and the children;
  • Help gather information including financial information necessary to make decisions about the division of assets and support issues;
  • Explore what each party wants and help explore various alternative solutions to resolve your concerns regarding the issues of custody, property division, support and all other issues of your divorce;
  • Assist you and your spouse in reaching an agreement that both parties are satisfied with.

What are the benefits of Mediation?

Relationships

  • Mediation helps preserve a good relationship with your spouse and reducing the tension for the sake of the children.
  • Spouses who mediate their divorce typically are better able to communicate and cooperate and to keep tensions down for the sake of the children.
  • The mediation experience builds a base for future cooperation between the parties and teaches you how to resolve issues in a cooperative manner.
  • Typically the parties are more satisfied by having arrived at their own “solutions” to the problems as opposed to having a judge make the decisions.
  • The parties’ children typically benefit from such a collaborative approach.

Oftentimes Less Costly

  • Typically mediation is significantly less expensive than a litigated divorce.
  • If the case goes to court, the cost may be three times as high — or more.
  • Mediation is less expensive than paying two lawyers to “fight” for each spouse.

Oftentimes Less Time Consuming

  • Mediated divorce cases typically take considerably less time than a litigated divorce. However, the parties must still wait the required six (6) months before a divorce can be final.

Greater Overall Satisfaction

  • In Mediation the parties are assisted by a mediator to reach an agreement developed by the spouses themselves, not one imposed by a judge or the court system.
  • Typically those spouses who mediate their own settlement are much more satisfied with their divorce.
  • In addition, children of mediated divorces may adjust better to the divorce of their parents than children of litigated divorces.

Areas of Mediation

The mediator will typically mediate the following issues:

  • Child Custody and parenting plan
  • Support including:
    • Child Support
    • Spousal Support
    • Family Support
    • Property division

Additional Resources:

If you feel that you may have a potential case pertaining to family law please call (805) 879-7523 or click here to email us and have an attorney contact you about your case.