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Can my spouse and I just mediate our property division?

Divorce mediation is an alternative way for a California couple to approach the end of their marriage. Unlike litigation, which used to be the traditional way that many people chose for completing their divorces, in mediation a couple takes control of their own decision-making processes and works together to settle their shared divorce legal issues. During mediation, the couple may choose to address all of the decisions they will need to make in order to bring about the end of the marriage. Mediation may also just be used for some parts of the couple's divorce, such as settling child custody arrangements or establishing a settlement for the couple's property.

As California is a community property state, many married couples find that they have a fair amount of shared or combined property when they get around to filing for divorce. As such, sorting through the parcels of real property, bank accounts, investments, artwork and other items of value that the partners collectively own can be something that couples may want to do without the intervention of a formal courtroom proceeding. Mediation offers divorcing couples the opportunity to talk out their preferences for how to divide their property between themselves, and it gives them control over how their property is separated.

The decision to mediate can sometimes be initiated by the couple, or it may be ordered by the court. However, couples who do use mediation for some or all of their divorce decisions may find the process rewarding and less stressful than those who choose to face off in court.

The important legal issues that couples must talk out during a divorce may be addressed and managed in mediation. Residents of California who want to learn more about how mediation may serve them in their property settlement negotiations or overall divorce proceedings can seek out the counsel of practitioners who work in the mediation system.

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