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Divorce mediation does not eliminate the need for an attorney

The prospect of ending a marriage and enduring the trauma associated with litigation can be overwhelming for anybody. Although mediation has become the chosen method of divorce for many couples in California, not everybody understands what is involved in this process. Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation and a way of ending a marriage at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time.

The biggest advantage of divorce mediation may be the fact that it is not a typical fight that ultimately leaves a winner and a loser. It is a process by which a mediator acts as an impartial third party to provide a platform for peaceful negotiation of a divorce settlement. The mediator does not provide legal advice or make decisions. The sole task of the mediator is to encourage communication and compromise and help spouses to focus on the future rather than the past.

The atmosphere in which mediation occurs is relaxed, and there is no limit to the issues that can be addressed. Along with property division, child-related issues are probably the most discussed issues during divorce mediation. Custody arrangements, visitation and parenting plans can be drafted. Subject to the approval of the court, child support payments may also be addressed.

While divorce mediation eliminates the need to litigate, it does not necessarily remove the benefit that could be obtained from the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney. In California, each spouse has the right to be represented by legal counsel during mediation. The lawyer can provide legal guidance along with valuable input while making sure his or her client's concerns are addressed, and that the final agreement is fair and in compliance with applicable laws before presenting it to the court.

Source: children-and-divorce.com, "Divorce Mediation", Accessed on Sept. 9, 2017

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