Choosing a divorce mediator in California

People whose marriages are ending may want to consider mediation as a less expensive and faster alternative to the protracted litigation often involved in contested divorce cases. In this alternative dispute resolution process, a mediator who is neutral will help facilitate the couple's reaching an agreement, and if one is obtained, it will be filed and will become an order of the court.

When people are considering mediation, it is important for them to understand the qualities a good mediator should have. A mediator does not issue a ruling for either side, and if an agreement is not reached, the case may then proceed to litigation.

Good mediators should focus on mediation as their main practice area. The best ones offer flat fees for their services and provide help with filing the divorce decree. The chosen mediator should also be a good problem-solver and should offer a free consultation to couples. He or she should be a person who will attempt to help a couple reach an agreement that is fair to both parties. If it is appears unlikely at the outset that a couple will be able to reach an agreement, a good mediator is one that will not accept the case.

Although divorces can be highly emotional in nature, it is often possible for couples to reach a complete agreement through participating in mediation sessions. Reaching such an accord may leave more of the details of the property division and any child custody and spousal support issues up to the couple rather than in the hands of the court. Mediation may allow couples to resolve their divorce with much less conflict while saving significant time and expense. Those who are seeking an alternative to court litigation may want to seek consultations with several attorneys who have experience in this area.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Find a Good Divorce Mediator? Your Five Rules of Thumb", Michelle Rozen, March 14, 2015

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