Mediation may help Bay Area residents resolve divorces

Mediation is one way that Californians who are divorcing can finalize their dissolution outside of court.

Basically, the way mediation works is that both sides will meet with another person called a mediator. The mediator is a trained attorney or other qualified professional.

Their job is not to decide anything but to help the sides reach an agreement about their divorce.

The process is confidential. Nothing a person says during mediation should come up in a later court proceeding. Also, both sides may choose to bring their attorneys with them for support and legal advice.

Finally, the process is voluntary in that no one has to reach an agreement. Either side may choose to withdraw from the mediation and go forward with their divorce litigation.

Why would I consider family law mediation?

There are many advantages to mediation that Fremont residents should consider:

  • Typically, a successful mediation will cost less than going to court.
  • People may also find mediation less time-consuming and less stressful.
  • Mediation is not all or nothing. Both sides have to give and take a little, but neither is leaving their fate in the hands of a judge. No matter how sure one is of their case, judges sometimes make unexpected decisions.
  • Mediation gives the parties an additional layer of privacy.
  • Mediation can set a positive tone for cooperation and compromise. Especially if the parties have minor children, being able to get along is important.

Is mediation right for everyone?

Despite the advantages, mediation is not right for every case.

To give just a couple of examples, while a good mediator can help a couple resolve their conflicts, there are some situations in which trying to negotiate would just be a waste of time and money.

There are also situations involving domestic violence. In these situations, a person should proceed with mediation cautiously in order to avoid further victimization.

A person should evaluate mediation along with other legal options with an experienced family law attorney.