In a perfect world, mediation can be a fair way for a divorcing couple to compromise and settle disputes over child custody and visitation or decide how to divide marital property. But, circumstances are not always ideal and an unfair mediation session can leave a party feeling used, intimidated, and hopeless. In California, parties arguing over custody must attend mediation before a judge will hear their case. Trouble arises when the husband or wife feels the mediation process is weighted in the other spouse’s favor. Though many family court mediators have significant training and experience in family law, mediators – like lawyers and judges – are still human. A mediator may hold a bias and not realize it. Other instances where a person can feel shortchanged by mediation are when one spouse is more educated about the divorce process than the other (seeming to have inside information) or when intimidation was present in the marital relationship. One way to overcome these potential snags is to be well prepared for mediation. Educate yourself about the divorce process and California’s law and policy regarding family separation issues. Make a list before mediation of which points are negotiable and which are not. Finally, although your attorney may not be permitted to sit through all of the mediation process with you, your attorney will prepare you for this process prior to your appointment. If you have any doubts about the quality of the mediator, about your knowledge of family law, or if you feel intimidated in any way by your spouse or the process itself, then the best court of action is to show up for mediation equipped with a strong advocate on your side. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will persistently pursue the best outcome possible for you in your divorce or quasi-divorce proceedings, whether you need to demonstrate the other spouse’s faults, or defend such claims. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas. If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help. Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.