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Determining if mediation is right for a divorcing couple

For many California residents who decide that they no longer want to stay married, getting a divorce can be costly. However, mediation is an alternative that can save divorcing couples some money. It involves a neutral third party who helps former couples come to an agreement outside of the courtroom. However, this method of divorce may not be right for everyone.

For example, if there is a history of abuse in the marriage, mediation is not recommended. This is because it can be difficult for a person to communicate with his or her former partner if there is a fear of future abuse or retribution. Mediation also will not work if one party cannot stand up for themselves confidently. It is likely that a divorcing couple will have to negotiate to divide marital assets, and if someone cannot confidently speak up over something he or she wants or isn't comfortable with, it is likely the person will not get what he or she wants out of the divorce process.

Finally, mediation will only work if both spouses are aware of all of the marital assets that are owned. This means that both parties must be confident that the other person is not hiding assets. If there is a history of hidden assets, both individuals should retain separate attorneys to prevent someone walking away with more than what he or she is entitled to.

If both former spouses believe that they can work together to come to a divorce settlement amicably, mediation may be appropriate. A family law attorney may still assist with walking a person through the process and discussing the impact of keeping certain marital assets, like the family home, after the divorce is finalized. A lawyer can also lead the mediation process so that the divorce proceeds smoothly and allows both individuals to move on with their lives as quickly as possible.

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