How does mediation work?

When people in California and elsewhere are preparing to get divorced, many assume that going to court is their only option. While litigation used to be the default, you may be encouraged to learn that you do not necessarily have to air your marital disputes before a judge. Depending on your circumstances, uncontested divorce may be an option. 

One form of uncontested divorce is mediation, as FindLaw explains. The term “uncontested divorce” does not always mean the process will be free from arguments and conflict. However, uncontested divorce methods have become more popular in recent years because the level of conflict is typically much lower than that in a contested divorce. What exactly is mediation, you may wonder? The following points illustrate how this process works: 

  • A certified mediator or attorney with mediation experience serves as an impartial third party to help each spouse resolve their disagreements. 
  • Each spouse may consult his or her own attorney. 
  • Mediators may conduct sessions with each spouse on his or her own, or together. 

In addition to reducing conflict, mediation is known for being more cost-effective and less time-consuming than a traditional divorce. You can learn valuable techniques in communication, negotiation and compromise that be useful when dealing with your ex-spouse in the future. Your children may also be spared much of the anxiety and conflict that can be present in a litigated divorce. 

Each situation is unique. Therefore, it is important to know your options before deciding what is best for you. Some circumstances, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, may necessitate litigation. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.