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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

Why might California couples choose to mediate their divorce?

When people in California picture going through a divorce, they may assume that all the hurt, anger and animosity felt during the marriage will spill over into the divorce proceedings. However, this is not true for every divorce case. Oftentimes, the parties want to end their relationship with as little conflict as possible, especially if they have children. Divorce mediation may be an attractive choice for these couples.

Through divorce mediation, the parties negotiate their divorce settlement with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator. A mediator is not a decision-maker. Instead, the mediator assists couples in communicating with one another as they settle their issues, such as child custody, property division and spousal support. This puts the final terms of the settlement solely in the hands of the couple.

Mediation can sometimes be less costly, both in time and money, when compared with litigation. Mediation is also generally a confidential process, so the discussions the parties have with one another cannot be used against them in court.

In the end, mediation gives couples more control over the outcome of their divorce than they would have with litigation. It provides a non-adversarial way for couples to end their marriage in a manner that is agreeable to both parties. However, even if spouses choose to mediate their divorce, they may still benefit from independent legal guidance. By understanding how the family laws of their state apply to their divorce, spouses are in a better position to discuss what their needs and desires are during the negotiation process.

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