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The benefits of divorce mediation in California

For those who are going through a divorce, it may be a good idea to consider mediation. In general, it is a more civil process where both sides can sit in separate rooms and talk to the mediator alone. Also, mediation does not involve any type of cross-examination or listening to testimony from neighbors or colleagues that may not paint an individual in a flattering light.

A mediator does not have the authority to force an individual to agree to anything during the mediation process. While a mediator may put some pressure on both sides to get to a middle ground, nothing is binding unless both parties want it to be. This is different from arbitration where an arbiter hears testimony and then makes a decision that is in most cases binding on both sides.

In theory, an individual can ask for and receive anything that he or she wants. This is true even if a judge wouldn't grant that same request in a trial. While there is no guarantee that the other person would agree to it, it may not hurt to make big asks in the hopes that they can part of an overall negotiation strategy. When a request is made, the mediator will generally inform an individual as to how realistic it may or may not be.

There are many issues that may be settled during the divorce mediation process such as determining who gets spousal support or how property is divided. Although mediation is relatively informal compared to litigation or arbitration, each party is allowed to have an attorney throughout the process.

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