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Is divorce mediation a path to resolve my situation amicably?

There is a perception that every California divorce must be contentious and filled with dispute. For some, that is true. However, many divorce cases can be resolved amicably through mediation. This can save money and time while simultaneously allowing the participants to remain on cordial -- or even good -- terms. For those with children or whose circumstances will remain linked possibly through a business entanglement, this can be beneficial. It is important to understand how mediation works and to determine if it is the right path for you.

In mediation, an impartial third-party will seek to settle issues and forge voluntary agreements. The mediator works to get the parties to communicate, see the situation from the perspective of the other party, try to find common ground and come to solutions. With mediation, the goals are to have an equitable settlement without going to court; avoid the costs and emotional issues that accompany a drawn-out divorce process; and keep hostility and disagreements to a minimum.

The benefits of divorce mediation are many. It allows the couple to discuss matters in a non-adversarial setting and negotiate. In addition to the money that can be saved by agreeing on various issues, it will let the parties maintain a line of communication. This is especially important when there are children from the relationship. In some instances, the couple will decide that their disagreements are not as vast as they thought when they decided to divorce. Perhaps they can reconcile. Of course, not every case can benefit from divorce mediation. If there is an abusive relationship, if a couple's situation is very complex or if there are concerns that the other party will not be negotiating in good faith, then it might be preferable to go through with a court case.

Couples whose divorce issues are such that they might benefit from mediation should think about it as an option. A legal professional with experience in divorce mediation can provide guidance and advice in helping the parties come to an amicable settlement and move on with their lives. It can save time and money and help them to get along in the aftermath. If the situation is such that mediation is a reasonable consideration, contacting a lawyer may help.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Mediation -- Overview," accessed on March 20, 2018

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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