What Should You Know About Divorce Mediation?
When you are going through a difficult or contentious divorce in California, you might consider the ways in which family law mediation can allow you and your ex to resolve existing disputes so that you can have an uncontested divorce. Although divorce mediation is not for everyone, and it is not appropriate or beneficial in certain circumstances, it can be helpful to many couples who are struggling with issues concerning the division of community property or child custody and co-parenting. If you have questions, you should seek advice from a San Jose divorce attorney. In the meantime, the following are some key things you should know about divorce mediation in California.
How Mediation Works
In a California family law mediation, a neutral third party known as a mediator is responsible for facilitating dialogue between the spouses who are engaged in one or more disputes as part of their divorce or child custody case. It is important to understand that a mediator does not act as a judge, and the mediation process is not an adversarial one. Instead, in a divorce mediation, the mediator helps the disputing spouses to communicate with one another and to negotiate, with the aim of reaching an agreement and resolving any existing disputes.
When the parties ultimately cannot reach an agreement, nothing that happens in the mediation is binding, and the parties can have the court issue a decision after hearing the case. If the parties can reach an agreement, they do not need to ask a judge to decide those matters.
Benefits of Mediation in a Divorce or Child Custody Case
There are many benefits to considering mediation in a complex divorce or child custody case in California, including but not limited to the following:
- Mediation can save the spouses a significant amount of money since they will not need to go before a judge or have their respective attorneys prepare for one or more court hearings;
- Mediation can save the spouses time since they will not need to wait for a court date in order for the judge to hear the dispute and issue a decision;
- Mediation helps spouses to improve their communication skills, which can be especially helpful for spouses who share minor children and will be co-parenting after the divorce is finalized; and
- Mediation is private, which means that any issues that are discussed in a mediation session cannot be accessible to the public, unlike issues that come up in certain divorce cases that are heard by a judge.
Mediation may have other benefits that are particular to your circumstances. When is mediation an option you should avoid? In general, when there are allegations of domestic violence or abuse, or a power imbalance between the parties, mediation is unlikely to be helpful and might actually cause more harm than good, especially to a spouse who has been abused.
Seek Advice from a San Jose Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are going through a complicated divorce or child custody case, family law mediation could benefit you. It is important to seek advice from an experienced lawyer who can provide you with more information about divorce mediation and other options that may be available to you. Do not hesitate to contact one of our San Jose divorce attorneys to learn more about the services we provide to clients going through divorce and child custody cases.