When getting divorced, you naturally may feel as though your life is spiraling out of control. However, divorce mediation can help you to take full control of planning your own life and making wise decisions about your future when going through the dissolution of a marriage. Pursuing a mediated settlement in California is particularly beneficial for parents who will have to keep making decisions together long after the divorce has been finalized.
In divorce mediation, there is a mediator — a neutral third party who is trained specifically to help divorcing couples to address issues related to their split-ups. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between both spouses, ensuring that they both have uninterrupted opportunities to speak.
The mediator can also ask for a spouse to restate his or her position or explain an assertion when necessary. When working with a mediator, you will also receive information regarding the legal system, what alternatives are available to solve issues, and how lawyers and judges might look at issues.
During your first session of the mediation process, you and your soon-to-be-ex will pinpoint the issues that you both feel you need to discuss. You will also determine the order of the issues that are to be discussed, as well as what information you will need to gather and share. This information may come from financial documents or even from experts such as accountants or appraisers.
After the first meeting, you will work on how to meet both parties’ needs in future sessions. Sessions are typically between one and two hours long. Once you have reached an agreement on all of the issues you deem important, the mediator will draft a formal agreement for your review.
After you and your spouse have signed the agreement, it is enforceable. Still, a judgement that is based on your agreement is typically prepared and then filed with the family law court. At that point, it becomes enforceable just as other divorce judgments are.
A knowledgeable attorney in California can walk you through the process of mediation, which is generally less costly, less stressful and less time consuming than going to trial. By speaking with an attorney, you can find out if pursuing a mediated settlement would be a good option in your case and, if so, start planning for the long term right away.