How can a divorce be resolved outside of court?

When a California couple decides to separate or divorce, they might think they need to resolve differences regarding children, alimony or property division through the courts. However, working out these matters outside of court might save both parties money and time. A resolution with little contention may make the process smoother and could be more beneficial if there are children involved.

In some cases, the couple may need a third party to help resolve possible conflicts. Mediation can help the couple settle their differences and reach an agreement outside of court. The mediator does not decide the case but presents options clearly and objectively. Even if some conflicts remain unresolved, a couple may be likely to come to at least some agreements during mediation. A decision can be made in family court regarding conflicts the couple absolutely cannot resolve without court intervention.

A couple might also choose the option of collaborative divorce. In this case, each spouse would work with lawyers to help them work out a settlement. After each party meets separately with their lawyers, the former couple may then meet together regularly until the details of the divorce are finalized.

While mediation or collaboration might help divorcing spouses work out their differences, some important matters might remain too contentious. A family lawyer might represent a client in court when these methods are not effective. Every legal situation is unique, and the contents of this blog should not be taken as specific legal advice. Divorcing spouses may wish to consult with independent legal counsel for information on how the varying laws apply to each case and how mediation might help in their situations.

Source: California courts, "Resolve Your Divorce or Separation Out of Court", October 13, 2014

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