Almost everyone in California knows someone who has gone through a messy divorce. With nearly half of all American marriages ending in legal dissolution, it is practically impossible to meet someone whose family or group of friends has not been affected by divorce. Stories about divorce are rarely positive or hopeful, even when the separating spouses exhibited little animosity toward each other.
The contentious nature of divorce stems from its generally litigious structure. Each party to a divorce comes to court with an attorney and fights for what he wants, even if it is to the detriment of the other party. Even though someone may get more or less than the other after the divorce is finalized, no one ever really wins in court.
The reason so many people go through this confrontational process is because they do not know that alternatives exist. In California, couples have the option to work with family law mediators to work out their differences and settle their divorces outside of the courts. Mediation allows separating spouses to meet with neutral third parties that neither give advice nor advocate for either individual. Mediators simply help parties arrive at agreed upon outcomes in collaborative, neutral environments.
Individuals who use divorce mediation see benefits that courtroom divorces rarely experience. Mediated divorces often cost less and take less time than litigated matters. They also allow the parties to have more control over the outcomes of their cases because they and not judges decide how to settle their marital matters.
The firm of Dianne Drew Butler & Associates has been helping divorce clients work through their marital dissolution matters for more than two decades. Its attorneys have served as divorce litigators and therefore know how confrontational the process can be. The firm also employs family law mediators who can help couples work through their separations and come to reasonable solutions to their divorce differences.