The expectation of lengthy, drawn-out divorce battles in court definitely rings true for many California couples. However, some couples are able to talk out their differences without spending a lot of time in court.
For couples who are aiming for an amicable divorce, mediation can be a great alternative. It saves on court fees and can be much less stressful than a typical divorce.
What’s the difference between mediation and a court battle?
You need to file a lawsuit in order to get divorced from your former spouse. However, not all of the discussions need to happen inside the courtroom.
Mediation will take place between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse with the help of a neutral mediator and your lawyers. Mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, and while it still costs money, it is a cheaper alternative to court fees.
In addition, mediation allows for more equal footing for spouses to actually talk about what they want to get and reach a compromise without the pressures of a formal courtroom. You can even use a mix of courtroom and mediation sessions to reach the results you want.
What can be negotiated in mediation?
A broad range of subjects can be handled in mediation. Everything from alimony to property division, child support and custody can be talked about in mediation.
How do you know if mediation is right for you?
Mediation only works if there’s room for compromise. If you and your ex are getting divorced due to domestic violence charges, cheating or anything else that would make compromise hard, then you might be better off settling it in court.
Mediation is a great tool when both people are willing to compromise and have a discussion. If you don’t feel like that’s possible with your ex, then it’s perfectly okay to say no to mediation and settle things in court.