Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Divorce mediation ensures the meeting of your needs

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Divorce Mediation

When a set of spouses comes before a California family court judge regarding property division, child custody, child support and other important issues, the court will typically hear each party’s testimony, then render a decision following a short deliberation period. Proceedings take place in a public courtroom. When you are filing for a divorce, you may not want everyone to know your business. There’s another option available that enables you to thoroughly discuss each issue with your ex and negotiate an agreement in a private setting. This is “divorce mediation.”  

Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. It’s not uncommon for spouses, especially spouses who have children together, to disagree about various issues leading up to their settlement. Mediation allows you to talk things through in a non-confrontational manner. It is an efficient way to achieve a settlement and usually takes less time and money than litigation. 

Divorce mediation is confidential 

A mediator is present during your discussion sessions. The mediator helps facilitate discussion and makes sure that both parties are adhering to their agreement to speak in peaceful tones and avoid confrontation. An advantage of mediation over litigation is that these sessions are confidential. The mediator may not discuss what anyone says in the room once the session is over. There is no transcription of sessions like with courtroom proceedings, nor are they recorded. Any notes written during sessions must be destroyed when the session is over.  

You can still rely on experienced legal representation 

You are under no obligation to have an attorney present during mediation sessions. However, you are free to do so. This is different from another alternative dispute resolution option known as “arbitration,” where each spouse must hire an attorney. It is wise to do the same for mediation sessions because an attorney’s job is to protect your interests and make sure you obtain a fair settlement.  

Mediation is not set up to blame each other 

When one parent sues another for custody, it becomes an adversarial situation, where he or she is trying to win the court’s favor over the other parent. This can spark parental conflict, which, in turn, can cause a lot of stress for the children. Mediation, on the other hand, is an amicable process. You are free to share your thoughts on the issues without trying to blame each other for the divorce or to argue over property division, custody or other issues. 

Instead, you both agree to listen to each other and to cooperate and compromise as needed to achieve a fair settlement. Many people later say they are glad they chose mediation because it helped them feel validated and like someone truly heard their needs. If you want a Plan B in place in case mediation doesn’t work for you, you can set a deadline for your discussion sessions and then convert to another divorce option if you weren’t able to negotiate a settlement. 

FindLaw Network