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Mediating a Divorce: Is This Really a Viable Option?

When going through a divorce in California, your first inclination may be to brace yourself for a long battle with your soon-to-be ex. After all, litigation in a courtroom is naturally adversarial. However, not every divorce has to be acrimonious.

With mediation, you and your spouse can actually work together to arrive at an agreement outside of court. This alternative to litigation can be helpful for addressing matters ranging from child custody to the division of assets. Mediating a divorce offers a wide range of benefits.

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method in which two spouses can rely on a neutral third party to facilitate the negotiation process. This neutral party, the mediator, does not make decisions for the couple. Rather, the mediator helps the couple to communicate and find common ground regarding the matters they are disputing. In this way, the divorcing or otherwise separated parties can deal with expectations that are unrealistic early on. The mediator may also provide some innovative solutions, as well as help with arranging a final divorce settlement.

Why mediate?

One of the biggest benefits of mediation is that it helps with minimizing conflict between you and your spouse. In addition, this process can be significantly less expensive than traditional divorce litigation.

Furthermore, when spouses reach a settlement through divorce mediation, they are more likely to comply with the settlements long term, as they are both happy with the outcome overall. In addition, a support agreement that two spouses reach by mediating their divorce may address matters that you cannot necessarily address by using a court order. For instance, you can agree on how you and your spouse will pay for a child's college tuition, or who will support the children financially after they have graduated from high school.

Other reasons to choose mediation

Through mediation, parents can also create well-thought-out parenting plans that fit the children's changing and current needs. You can accomplish this planning at a level of detail that is simply impossible in divorce court. A California family law attorney can walk you through the mediation process during your divorce proceeding and help you to achieve an outcome that is personally favorable and that keeps the children's well-being as the top priority.