Divorce mediation is a process by which estranged spouses seeking a divorce can negotiate terms and conditions that would be favorable to both parties in front of a neutral third party. Divorce mediation, however, is different from arbitration. While an arbitrator has the power to make decisions which can be binding on both parties, a mediator does not have any such authority. Most states, including California, allow mediation proceedings in divorce cases.
Many parents going through a divorce worry about how the divorce will affect their children. This is especially true when the divorce proceedings lead to a child custody dispute. What these parents may not know is that divorce attorneys often worry about the children as well. After all, many attorneys have children of their own. One attorney was so concerned about the effects of child custody disputes on children that he put together a film built around 10 questions parents should ask themselves before going to court in a divorce and child custody dispute. Among the questions is whether the parents want strangers to interview their children about intimate matters of their household.
Divorce mediation presents one way around this uncomfortable scenario.
Mediation usually includes the estranged spouses and the neutral mediator. More often than not, mediation can be less cumbersome and cost less compared to a lengthy court battle. Mediation may be court-ordered or a private. Court-ordered mediation, as the name suggests, is a situation where the court appoints the mediator to resolve issues which may be related to custodial rights or other issues. Private mediation can be voluntarily chosen by the parties.
Many divorces can be acrimonious, with allegations of infidelity, domestic violence and money problems. Matters related to money, spousal support, asset division and child custody can also make mediation impractical. Oakland attorneys with experience in mediation and other divorce methods can help people to determine which method will best suit their needs.
Source: Huffington Post, “Divorcing parents: 10 questions to ask before fighting over the kids,” Rosalind Sedacca, July 21, 2014