What is mediation and what are the benefits of it?

When divorcing couples in California consider the process of ending a marriage, it may seem daunting and exhausting, but there is an alternative to a long, drawn-out court battle. Many are now turning to alternative dispute resolution, also known as mediation. FindLaw defines this as the process by which a neutral third party sits down with both partners and negotiates an agreement regarding property division, child custody, child support, alimony and any other details of the divorce.

Traditionally, mediation is significantly quicker than a lawsuit that may take months or even years. Mediation allows both parties to move on with their lives faster by resolving disputes in just a couple of days or weeks.

Lawsuits are expensive, and many couples turn to mediation to save money. Because there is a faster turnaround time, you save money when you are not in court all the time. Mediation is also less formal than a court case and provides the security that allows both parties to feel more relaxed to have an open discussion about the terms of their divorce. Rather than sitting in a courtroom, the meeting can occur in a small office setting.

Court cases are public so anyone can see the details of your divorce. Another major benefit of mediation is that it is confidential. There is no evidence or any transcripts provided that can be used later against you or your ex.

Mediation also provides greater control and flexibility, often has better results and compliance with mediation is generally higher than traditional lawsuits. Perhaps the most important benefit is that mediation can preserve relationships, both personal and business, that can be destroyed through a lengthy litigation battle.

This information is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.