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Mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation

Not all California couples who are ending their marriages have to engage in protracted litigation. Many people are able to successfully resolve their disputes through mediation, which is an alternative process that happens outside of court. With mediation, it is sometimes possible to reach full agreements even if people feel that they would never be able to come to an accord on their outstanding issues.

Mediation has several benefits for divorcing couples. They are able to meet with an impartial third party who is trained in facilitating agreements. This allows them to talk about their issues without fighting as they work to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Since mediation generally involves substantially less conflict, it is also a better option for the estranged couple's children, especially if they are young. Children who are exposed to the conflict that bitterly contested divorces can bring often fare worse than children whose parents are able to get along and work together. Mediation is also generally less expensive than protracted litigation. Despite the benefits of mediation, there are some situations in which it may not be a good option. For example, people whose cases involve histories of domestic violence or substance abuse may need to proceed through litigation.

Being able to resolve issues amicably through an out-of-court proceeding may help to reduce the emotional stress of a divorce so that people can move on with their lives. A family law attorney may review a client's family situation and then offer an honest opinion about whether mediation is a good idea. In cases in which mediation could work, people may be able to end their marriages more quickly and at a lower cost.

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