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Mediation vs. Divorce

Mediation and divorce are two different ways to end a marriage in California.

Mediation is a process where a neutral third party (the mediator) helps the couple communicate and negotiate the terms of their separation. The goal of mediation is to reach an agreement that both parties find acceptable without going to court. Mediation is usually less expensive and less time-consuming than a traditional divorce, and it can also be less emotionally taxing.

A divorce, on the other hand, is a legal process where a judge makes the final decisions about the terms of the separation. Divorces can be contested or uncontested. Contested divorces are when the couple cannot agree on one or more issues and a judge must decide. Uncontested divorces are when the couple has already reached an agreement on all issues. Divorces can be long, emotionally taxing and expensive compared to mediation.

How Does a Mediator Help During a California Divorce?

A mediator in California helps spouses address important issues during a divorce by facilitating communication and negotiation between the parties. The mediator’s role is to help the couple come to an agreement on issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support.

During mediation, the mediator will often begin by meeting with the couple together to discuss their general concerns and priorities. The mediator will also provide information and options to help the couple make informed decisions. Mediators are trained to help couples identify and understand the underlying interests and needs that drive their positions, which can help them find creative solutions that address those underlying interests.

The mediator will not make decisions for the couple or impose a settlement, but rather will guide the process to help the couple reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. The mediator will also help the couple draft a written agreement that will be legally binding if the couple decides to file for divorce.

Benefits of Mediation Over Collaborative Divorce or Litigation

There are several benefits of mediation over divorce:

  • Mediation is often less expensive and time-consuming than a traditional divorce
  • Mediation can be less emotionally taxing
  • Mediation is a more private process than a divorce, as the couple can negotiate and reach an agreement without having to disclose their personal information and financial details in court
  • Mediation allows the couple to have more control over the outcome of their separation
  • Mediation is more likely to lead to a lasting agreement, as both parties have had the opportunity to express their concerns, and have been involved in the process of coming up with solutions
  • Mediation can be particularly beneficial for couples with children, as it can help them reach agreements on child custody and parenting time that are in the best interests of their children

Although ending a marriage can be emotionally overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be as difficult as you might assume. With help from a mediator, you and your spouse can resolve issues and differences in a relatively civil and cooperative manner. Learn more about this option by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch online or by calling us at 818-237-4574.

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