Many couples that are going through a divorce in California will begin the divorce process with mediation. Some couples will be able to reach a settlement through mediation alone, and some couples will have to proceed to a court trial after mediation. Even if all of the divorce issues cannot be resolved through mediation, mediation sessions usually result in some progress being made towards a settlement.
Settling a divorce through mediation can have many benefits for both spouses and any children that are involved. Mediation generally costs less than litigation, and divorce issues can remain private. In a family court trial, witnesses may need to be called in to give testimony that may be uncomfortable or embarrassing, and an ex-couple's divorce information will become part of the public record.
Another benefit of a mediated divorce is that mediation usually results in a settlement that is more personalized to each spouse's situation. Divorcing spouses may ask for anything in mediation, even if a judge would probably never grant what they are requesting. By communicating back and forth without the governance of the legal system, two divorcing spouses may be able to reach a private agreement that makes sense to them.
Divorcing spouses often worry that they won't be able to settle their divorce through mediation because they can't communicate well with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. A divorce attorney can represent an individual during mediation sessions and ensure that their rights are asserted and their requests are understood. If divorce mediation is not working out in an amicable settlement, an attorney may help a spouse to determine when it is time to proceed to litigation.