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What is divorce mediation?

If you have contemplated divorce, then you may have encountered the terms "divorce mediation" and "divorce mediator" in your for information. You may not be familiar with what divorce mediation entails and whether it could be beneficial to your particular divorce situation. This post explores just what divorce mediation means for residents of California.

The California courts provide some good information on ways that California residents can resolve their marriages without going to court. One of those ways is through mediation. Mediation involves the parties to a marriage working with a neutral mediator who helps guide them through the issues related to their particular marriage dissolution.

The mediator does not represent either party to the negotiation. Rather, he or she is a person who helps the parties evaluate their options without advocating for either side. Mediation does not always result in a fully resolved divorce, however, and in some cases couples who cannot finalize their decisions in mediation need the assistance of the courts to finalize their divorces.

Divorce mediation differs from collaborative divorce in a number of ways, however. For example, in collaborative divorce, both parties have their own advocates. The lawyers who represent the parties in a collaborative divorce may establish from the beginning of the legal relationship that they will not go to court with their clients even if the collaborative process fails. If the parties go to court they often have to retain new counsel.

Divorce mediation is a viable option for people who will have uncontested divorces and those who hold similar goals as their spouses with regard to ending their relationships. Mediation can help couples avoid some of the emotional stress of a court divorce, though the process can still be difficult. Some California divorce attorneys are trained as mediators and are available to work with individuals seeking ends to their marriages.

Source: California Judicial Branch, "Resolve Your Divorce or Separation Out of Court," accessed Aug. 15, 2014

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