Many California spouses who decide to end their marriages want to do so without going to court. In situations where spouses get along well enough to have amicable discussions, it may be possible to make good use of divorce mediation. This process is best reserved for those who are willing to negotiate with fairness and compromise where needed.
An impartial third party helps facilitate discussions in the mediation process. Each spouse retains his or her own legal representation as well. The mediator helps steer discussions in productive directions so spouses can work together to resolve important issues, such as financial matters, child custody or visitation arrangements.
There's no penalty if divorce mediation doesn't result in a settlement. However, in such circumstances, it is likely that litigation would be necessary. It's not uncommon for this to occur in cases where parents simply can't agree on what is best for their children regarding their care and lifestyle after divorce.
Divorce mediation is not for everyone. It doesn't work well for people who can barely be in the same together without arguing. Anyone in California who wants to learn more about this type of alternative dispute resolution, or wants to discuss a particular family law matter, can request a meeting with an experienced family law attorney. One of an attorney's highest priorities is protecting a client's rights. When that client is a parent who is getting divorced, an attorney can also make sure children's best interests remain a central focus of all proceedings.
Source: FindLaw, "What Is Mediation And How Does It Work?", Accessed on Feb. 23, 2018