Married couples often figure out their own ways to settle disagreements. However, sometimes those disagreements cause the end of the marriage and one partner files for divorce. When a divorcing couple cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, they may land in a courtroom where a judge will make decisions for them. There is
another way to settle, however. A form of alternative dispute resolution called mediation is often used in family law cases. Will mediation work for your divorce? Maybe, maybe not. Learning more about mediation may help you review your options.
Why Mediation Might Work
An impartial person like a mediator can hear both sides of a disagreement objectively. Since the mediator has no interest in the case, he or she can facilitate an agreement between the parties. Some other important reasons to consider family law mediation
- Mediation tends to be much less expensive than a court trial.
- A judge schedules hearings and trials around his or her schedule. A mediation usually can be scheduled for a mutually convenient time for all parties.
- You may receive your divorce decree earlier if you and your spouse are able to settle issues at mediation.
- Mediation is done privately.
No system is perfect. Mediation is not always the answer.
Drawbacks to Mediation
There are some reasons you may want to avoid mediation, including:
- If only one spouse wants the divorce;
- If you don’t know the extent of each party’s assets and debts.
- You or your spouse have secrets you don’t want to reveal.
- When spouses are unable to communicate or be flexible about terms.
Keep in mind that mediators cannot give legal advice, and attorney-client privilege generally does not exist. However, California law
does offer some protection, requiring that what happens in the mediation generally stays in the mediation.
Find Out if Mediation Will Work for Your Divorce
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.