4 benefits mediation offers for divorcing couples in California

Divorcing spouses who choose mediation often benefit from a more efficient, affordable and collaborative process that produces tailored solutions.

Today, it's become more common for separating couples in Vista to seek out less contentious paths than traditional divorce, as trends such as "conscious uncoupling" indicate. For people who need or prefer to formally end their marriages, mediation provides a similar alternative to a conventional litigated divorce. The divorce mediation process can offer various emotional, financial and pragmatic benefits for most couples, starting with the following advantages.

1. Time and cost savings

Mediation is often more efficient than litigation, according to The Huffington Post. Spouses who settle their cases in divorce court must wait for set court dates that may conflict with their schedules. These court dates might be held weeks or even months apart. Mediators, in contrast, can usually adopt more flexible schedules, which can ultimately help spouses resolve their issues more quickly.

Besides sparing spouses from stress and scheduling issues, a more efficient settlement process can generate financial savings. Mediation is typically less drawn-out than litigation. Additionally, spouses face lower costs because they can both work together with one mediator, rather than hiring independent attorneys.

2. Protection of privacy

According to Forbes, the information that spouses disclose during mediation remains private. In contrast, any information that spouses share in divorce court becomes part of the public record. The Huffington Post notes that children also might be exposed to more aspects of a divorce that is completed in court. It's not unusual for children to be asked to give statements or even appear in court. Mediation can help keep children more removed from the divorce process.

3. A personalized settlement

With mediation, divorcing spouses have a greater likelihood of arriving at solutions that both parties find agreeable. A mediator can take time to understand the concerns and desires of both spouses before suggesting a solution. In contrast, family law judges must make decisions based largely on state laws and legal precedents. The final outcome may be a settlement that neither spouse feels content with, which could lead to conflict or further litigation in the future.

4. A model for future interactions

An adversarial approach during divorce can make it difficult for separating spouses to interact in a positive, healthy manner afterward. Mediation is often a beneficial option for spouses who will experience ongoing contact after the divorce for any of the following reasons:

  • The spouses have children and will be sharing legal custody or visitation.
  • The spouses own a family business or other shared financial interest.
  • One spouse will be receiving alimony from the other.

Mediation can help separating spouses develop healthy communication strategies, which can alleviate future conflict.

Succeeding with mediation

It's advisable for spouses who are considering mediation in California to work with an attorney who specializes in this practice to determine whether it is the best option. Forbes notes that, if mediation does not succeed, spouses must start again with a new representative. Additionally, a poorly crafted mediation agreement can be contested later. Consequently, spouses should be careful to understand the process fully and work with a qualified representative to ensure the best outcome possible.