Mediation is an alternative option to traditional court litigation and has several advantages for couples wishing to end their marriage in a civil fashion.
When people think of divorce, they may picture a heated and emotional court battle. While traditional court litigation remains an option for some California couples, it may not meet the needs of everyone who is going through a divorce. Fortunately, there are other options when it comes to dissolving a marriage. Mediation is rising in popularity as a non-confrontational way to discuss and settle matters of divorce in California and across the country.
What is mediation?
Mediation sessions take place out of court and under the supervision of a neutral mediator, according to the Huffington Post. Although the mediator is present to answer any general legal questions, they are not able to give personalized advice. The mediator can also direct the negotiations process and ensure that all topics are covered in the settlement. The couple is able to create and customize the terms of their divorce settlement specific to the needs of their unique case. This includes child custody, parenting schedules, child support, alimony, property division and any other items pertinent to the case.
The advantages of mediation
Mediation is not ideal for every couple wishing to file for divorce in California. There are people who are unable to discuss matters civilly and may have hidden agendas or heated emotions involved in the divorce. These couples should not attempt a mediation session. For those who can handle themselves in a professional manner, mediation can have several advantages over litigation. According to the American Bar Association, these include:
- Quicker: A divorce may be finalized faster through mediation. Couples are able to plan their own sessions around their personal schedules rather than wait for a court date.
- Less expensive: There are no court costs involved in mediation, making it more affordable for many people.
- Compliance: People are more likely to stay compliant with the terms of their settlement when they have played an active role in creating them.
- Better relationship: Couples who go through the mediation process are more likely to leave the marriage with a more positive relationship than they might have had they undergone court litigation. This can help business partners or parents who must maintain contact post-divorce.
Mediation is non-formal and less stressful for many couples who choose this route of marriage dissolution.
The role of an attorney in mediation
Although an attorney cannot be present during the actual mediation session, it may be wise to meet with a lawyer for personalized legal assistance regarding your case. An attorney may help to ensure that your rights are upheld during the negotiations process, and that you receive everything you are entitled to in your divorce settlement.
Keywords: mediation, divorce, litigation