How Mediation Can Help Resolve Divorce Conflicts
Going through a divorce is often a hard process, and a protracted legal fight can only add to the difficulty. Communication between spouses is usually fractured, and having to negotiate over fundamental issues like child custody, property division and the financial settlement can easily exacerbate them. Mediation can serve a valuable role in helping to calm stormy legal waters.
Mediation is when a neutral third party works to bring two conflicting parties together by promoting a voluntary resolution of differences. Mediation attorneys are trained at facilitating discussion, seeing opportunities for compromise, and helping the spouses move closer to a settlement.
The state of California finds the mediation process so beneficial that it has mandated child custody issues at least attempt to be settled this way. This includes situations where a stepparent or grandparent requests visitation rights. However, even couples who don’t have children involved in their divorce can benefit from
what mediation offers.
Advantages Of Mediation
Working with a trained mediation lawyer like ours at Smith Family Law, APC, offers several benefits compared to the alternative, which is hashing out the differences in family court and letting a judge decide. The advantages of mediation include the following:
- Mediation is cost-efficient – Every case is different. But it’s not uncommon in the state of California for the cost of going to court – of a contested divorce – to be four to five times more expensive than mediation.
- Mediation offers a chance for healthy closure – We won’t pretend that mediation lawyers are therapists or that mediation will heal all wounds from the end of your marriage. We’re not and it won’t. But the process that we’re trained to facilitate can offer two people a chance to bring an end to their relationship in a calm and peaceful manner. Closing one era of your life in a healthy way can be part of a new beginning.
- Mediation offers better scheduling – In mediation, you work out with your spouse and the mediator when you want to meet. Spouses are busy with work, home upkeep, driving kids around and any number of activities. The ability to have control in scheduling mediation sessions can be a big quality of life factor in what is a chaotic time for many people.
All of these advantages are why more separating partners are considering mediation over a lengthy court case.
What To Expect In Mediation
Each mediator will have their own process, but the following general format will apply:
- Opening session – This initial meeting allows each side to lay out where they are at and the mediator to get a sense of the landscape.
- Communication – The mediator learns the areas where the couple may be at a serious impasse and looks to learn more about what they want, with the aim of crafting a win-win solution.
- Negotiation – This is communication taken to the next level. Now, real proposals and counter-proposals are exchanged. The mediator will be looking for possible creative solutions to areas that have been at an impasse. The “fresh set of eyes” dynamic can often result in a positive solution that might otherwise be missed.
- Closure – As mediators, we’re aiming for closure that ends with a settlement that both parties are satisfied with. However, it must be noted that sometimes closure ends with a decision by the spouses to take the dispute to family court.
Mediation is a great solution for clients that don’t want to go to court and an option we are always willing to explore with you.
Talk To Us About Mediation Today
Smith Family Law, APC, has spent over a decade immersed in family law. That means both knowing the details of the law itself – details that can be significant in getting you the best possible settlement – and in knowing the struggles and pain people may be going through at a difficult time in their lives.
We know how to fight on behalf of your interests, and we further understand that those interests are holistic, from your children to your finances to your home. It’s all on the line, and we’ll work hard every day to give you smart, tough and compassionate representation. Call our San Diego office today at 619-431-3131 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.