At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates in California, we know that you face difficult challenges when you and your spouse decide to divorce. You feel devastated that your marriage is breaking up. Your emotions are running high, especially if you have children. You worry about how your divorce will affect them and what post-divorce custody and visitation arrangements they and you will have to live with. You also worry about how to divide your marital property between you and your spouse.
The two of you likely have differing opinions on all these issues and more. Nevertheless, neither of you wants to go through a protracted, expensive and ugly divorce. You will be pleased to know that you do not have to. More amicable divorce options exist, and mediation is one of them.
Per the American Bar Association, a mediated divorce is one in which you and your spouse agree to hire a neutral mediator to help you negotiate and resolve your differences. (S)he does not represent either of you. Instead, (s)he acts as your facilitator, making sure that both of you have ample opportunity to express your views, concerns and wishes in a cooperative and nonthreatening environment.
The mediation process
The mediator first meets separately with each of you. You should be completely open and honest at this meeting. Share your goals and concerns regarding the following issues:
- Child custody, support and visitation
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Real estate issues, such as which of you, if either, will continue to reside in your family home
- Any other issues relevant to your specific situation
In addition, however, tell the mediator what you can live with in terms of compromises on all these issues.
You and your spouse are in control during mediation. You negotiate, you compromise, you resolve your issues, you are the decision makers. The mediator's role is to ensure that you do this in a respectful, cooperative manner where neither of you insults or intimidates the other.
Most mediated divorces cost 40-60 percent less than a traditional litigated divorce. In addition, mediation can save you substantial time and stress as compared to litigation.
For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website.