What Is Mediation in Family Law?

What Is Mediation in Family Law?

Family Law deals with a number of emotional area, so how can it be mediated?

If you are getting a divorce, you may be thinking of hiring a family law attorney in Orange County to help you with the process but you may also have heard that some family law cases make use of mediation to get to an agreement that will leave the parties involved satisfied. More than anything, you want to go for the best option to get this emotionally draining process done.

Understanding Mediation in Family Law

You may have some doubts about mediation that may make you question whether this is the right way to approach the divorce process. If so, it is interesting to note that a large number of family law cases are not resolved through litigation. It happens that many cases settle because the spouses can reach an agreement either directly between themselves or because they have obtained the help of a third-party mediator.

What Are the Main Benefits of Mediation?

There are several benefits to selecting mediation over litigation, among them:

Less Expensive

An unbiased mediator can help you and your spouse reach a friendly solution in a manner that will be much more favorable to your finances. The resources you save through mediation will come in handy when you start moving forward with the new chapter of your life.

Control Over the Outcome

Those involved in litigation are much more likely to lose control of the outcome. This is because after being unable to resolve the issues on their own, the judge will be the one deciding for them. Once you allow the judge to be the one to establish how certain topics will be handled in the future, if the judge’s decisions do not coincide with your wishes, you will have a difficult time appealing them and you will have to pay a lawyer to help you with the appeal.

Trials Are Open to the Public

You may not want just anyone to sit in the courtroom and listen to the intimate details of your life. And if there is even the slightest possibility that the media may be interested in your case, you will have them watching, listening, and publishing things about you that you may not want the public to know.

There Are Raw Emotions Involved

Again, if you let the negotiations for your divorce end up in trial, you will be exposing your deepest fears and emotions to those who choose to attend the proceedings. You will lose control of your privacy and over who gets to hear what you are going through.

There May Be Embarrassing Disclosures

Not all divorce cases are open and shut. Many involve embarrassing disclosures such as the fact that there was domestic abuse, that one of the parties suffered from an addiction, or that there was infidelity. You may also have to discuss openly in court your finances and be aware that the information contained in your tax returns or bank statements can end up in publicly available court documents.

How Does Mediation Work?

It is important to understand that mediation is not mandatory. It is an option that is open to couples that seek a divorce and it offers many benefits, such as those listed above. Once you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse decide upon mediation, both parties will meet with the mediator. If one or both parties choose to hire an attorney, these attorneys will also be present at that time.

Take the time to find a mediator that has experience mediating family law cases and has a profound knowledge of family law. It is also important to understand that the sessions with the mediator are private and that the disclosures cannot be used at trial should mediation fail.

The process starts with the parties having an opportunity to tell their side of the story and explain what they are proposing, defending why they consider their proposal to be fair. The mediator listens to both parties and then goes back and forth with new proposals to both parties, expecting to get their acceptance or their reaction to the terms put forth.

By becoming thoroughly familiar with the case and what each party is asking for, the mediator aims to help both parties resolve the issues. In some cases, the mediator may propose solutions. In others, they may leave the details entirely to the parties involved or their attorneys, if there are any.

Settling is not always possible through mediation but it is a viable way for each side to present their point of view and may help the parties involved understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case.

Before signing any documents, you have the opportunity to present them to your attorney to go over them and give you their opinion on the matter. You want to be sure that every point in the agreement is clear and that you have understood and agreed with all of them.

What Is the Main Objective of Mediation?

Mediation aims to help the parties involved successfully reach their objectives. It aims to achieve this in the shortest amount of time and more affordably than hiring legal representation. If you select a mediator for your divorce, you can get help with difficult issues like child support, alimony, visitation, and other tough subjects. However, mediation can also help you when you first get married by assisting you with a prenuptial agreement. It is also a great tool for issues such as other family law disputes like adoption, surrogate parenting, adult guardianship, or family law financial disputes.

When you opt for mediation, you know you are getting a way to avoid costly litigation while protecting your privacy. If you have any doubts as to whether mediation is the right way for you to proceed with your divorce or other family law disputes, schedule an initial consultation with a mediator to get your concerns resolved.


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