Using Mediation in Divorce
Couples who are divorcing can arrange divorce mediation to help resolve things they cannot agree on. For example, sometimes a couple may not agree on how they divide community property and debt. On the other hand, sometimes couples arrange divorce mediation to solve disagreements about child custody and visitation, or spousal support. The mediator acts as a neutral person who can help the couple talk about matters they donot agree on. The mediator’s goal is to help the couple resolve their disagreements. The mediator does not make decisions for the couple. Rather, the mediator’s role is to help the parties to reach their own agreement.
How Can I Arrange Divorce Mediation?
The best way to arrange divorce mediation and find a mediator is to ask family and friends for recommendations. If this is not an option, you could search on the internet for an experienced California mediator located near to where you live. When selecting a mediator, it helps to give the mediator a list of the specific issues you would like to discuss. In order for divorce mediation to be successful, both parties should be willing participants. The mediation checklist in this article is a great tool for successful divorce mediation.
Initially, at the start of the mediation process, both parties will have a meeting with the mediator. This is a three-way meeting with the couple and the mediator (unless domestic violence is at issue). The mediator will review the concerns of both parties as well as identify disagreements. In addition, the mediator will provide the couple with a general overview of his/her role in the mediation process.
If the couple is able to work out an agreement on the issues, the mediator may even help them draft an agreement. On the other hand, the agreement can also be drafted by a non-attorney legal document assistant. A People’s Choice often works with mediators to write the agreement that was worked out through mediation. The agreement will explain how the couple desires to settle the various issues. Keep in mind, during the mediation process, the mediator may talk to each party separately. This helps the mediator get a better understanding of each person’s opinion and expectations before bringing the parties back together to have a more detailed discussion.
What to Expect During Mediation
During mediation, expect to work with a neutral person who does not take sides with either of you. Keep in mind, mediators will keep all matters discussed during the session confidential. Furthermore, you do not need to get a court order to schedule mediation. If you think mediation may help you work through the disputed issues, suggest to your spouse or the other party that you want to try to mediate. If you both agree, you can arrange divorce mediation on your own. The mediator will work with each party to try to find things you can agree on to resolve disputed matters.
Things to Consider During Mediation
It is important to go to mediation with an open mind and willingness to resolve your disputes. Mediation is not meant to be confrontational. In other words, avoid raising your voice or arguing with the other party. Try to find things you can agree to and voice your concerns in a positive way. This will encourage a productive discussion of the issues. Remember, the goal of mediation is to resolve your issues. If you have no intention of solving these problems outside of court, you might as well skip mediation altogether.
What happens when the couple is not successful with divorce mediation? Unfortunately, unsuccessful mediation is almost always the stepping stone to a court trial. A court trial will cost both parties litigation fees and is quite stressful. Remember, both parties often end up being unhappy with a judge’s ruling. On the contrary, when a couple mediates, the solution to the problem is decided by the couple. Remember, you never know how a judge will resolve an issue, and it may not be favorable for either person.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to arrange divorce mediation. We can refer you to a professional mediator in California. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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