As long as you and your spouse understand the process and agree to it, mediation provides a less expensive, time consuming and contentious way to resolve your issues.
Advantages of mediation
Understanding what you gain from the mediation process helps make the decision to use it easier. Therefore, the following advantages make mediation an attractive alternative to the traditional, adversarial option of going to court:
- Each of you participates voluntarily. If at any point you no longer wish to participate, simply say so and the process ends.
- Mediation sets a tone of compromise and cooperation, which motivates you to work together toward a mutually satisfying settlement.
- You and your spouse maintain control over your futures since the two of you make all of the decisions with the help and guidance of your attorneys and the mediator.
- You retain more privacy than an open courtroom provides.
- Bringing in third parties, such as appraisers, financial advisers and counselors is encouraged to help each of you make informed decisions that work best for your circumstances.
- The mediator keeps the discussions moving forward and provides options and alternatives to break any stalemates regarding an issue.
California couples who use mediation tend to comply with their settlement agreements more often since they played a major role in designing them.
Even sympathetic judges can only act within certain parameters. Mediation allows you and your spouse to think outside the box to create an agreement that is unique to your family. When it comes to the children, this often ensures that each parent remains involved in their lives and participates in as much as possible.
How do I know that we will get through the mediation process?
The short answer is that you do not know 100 percent. However, your attorney can discuss the following:
- Your family's circumstances and needs
- Your desires for the outcome of the process
- Whether your spouse wants to stay out of court as well
He or she can then provide you with an opinion regarding the feasibility of mediation. To give the process the best chance at success, choose an attorney who favors mediation and understands its advantages. Even though your attorney needs to be ready to go to court on your behalf, he or she should not encourage it.