When talking about the options for getting a divorce, the discussion often focuses on the distinction between going to court or reaching an amicable resolution through informal methods. However, there is not necessarily a clear line between the two; and, when it comes to pursuing an out-of-court settlement, there are a few different options available.
One of these options is mediation. Mediation allows divorcing spouses to seek outside help without resorting to letting someone else (i.e. a judge) making decisions for them. But, mediation is not just used in amicable divorces. In many cases, spouses will use mediation (often under a court order) to find common ground on certain issues in the broader context of divorce litigation.
How Mediation Can Help with Resolving Contested Issues in a Divorce
Whether negotiations in an amicable divorce are becoming unproductive or it appears that litigating spouses would benefit from trying to work together, mediation can be an attractive solution for both parties. Working with an experienced family law mediator offers benefits including:
- Insights from an unbiased third party who is knowledgeable about divorce law and theories of conflict resolution;
- A structured, yet informal, approach to conflict resolution that promotes cooperation and good-faith efforts to find areas for compromise;
- A strategic approach to communications that prevents emotions from getting in the way of progress;
- The flexibility to schedule mediation sessions at times and locations that work with everyone’s schedules and that fit with the overall progress of the divorce; and,
- The ability to find mutually-agreeable solutions that you and your spouse may not have considered on your own.
However, as we have previously discussed, mediation is not right for everyone. There are a number of reasons why it may be in one spouse’s (or both spouses’) best interests to stay away from mediation. Just like all other aspects of getting divorced, the decision of whether to pursue mediation is one that needs to be made with due consideration of all of the relevant factors and a forward-looking assessment of the potential outcomes of the process.
Additional Resources on California Divorce Mediation
If you are preparing for a divorce in North County and Downtown San Diego, CA, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about the options that are available. These resources will help you gain a better understanding of the role of mediation in divorce, as well as the benefits (and potential limitations) involved:
- Resolving Family Disputes Through Mediation
- Questions Answered about California Divorce and Mediation
- Resolve Your Divorce or Separation Out of Court
- Custody Mediation in the California Courts
When is the Right Time to Pursue Mediation in Connection with a Divorce?
There is no one “right” time to pursue mediation in connection with a divorce. While divorcing spouses may agree up front to pursue mediation, an agreement to use mediation can also come as negotiations progress. In any divorce, attorneys represent clients in mediation during pre-trial divorce litigation proceedings. One of the keys to successful divorce mediation is access to information, and divorcing spouses can obtain the information they need to make informed decisions in mediation through the pre-trial litigation process. Litigation (and negotiation) can also help narrow down the issues in dispute so that spouses can focus their mediation efforts where they are likely to be the most productive.
Request a Confidential Divorce Consultation in North County and Downtown San Diego, CA
If you would like to discuss the role mediation can play in your divorce, please contact us to request a confidential initial consultation. With offices in Encinitas, attorney Richard M. Renkin represent clients in divorce mediation and serves as a mediator in divorce proceedings throughout North County, CA. You can reach our offices by phone at 619-299-7100, or contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.