Divorce mediation can be used by California couples who are ending their marriages to resolve their issues without having to engage in contentious and expensive litigation. In many jurisdictions, mediation is a prerequisite of going to divorce court.
Mediation is considered to be more civilized than going to trial. It often takes place in the office of the attorney of one of the party or in a mediator's office. With each party and his or her attorney in their own conference room, the mediator will engage with each side separately. The divorcing couples who go through mediation are not compelled to agree to anything, nor does the mediator have the authority to make a decision on behalf of either party. The function of the mediator is to guide each party to a middle ground so that they will be able to come to an agreement. The mediator will preferably have experience in family law and will be able to advise if a certain position on an issue will be accepted by the court.
Those who participate in mediation are also not governed by the restrictions that would be in place if they were in court. Each party can make a reasonable request regarding a certain issue. Divorcing couples may want to consider mediation as the process takes less time to complete than going to court to arrive at divorce settlement terms. Even though each party will have to pay attorney fees and half of the mediator's fee, the procedure is also still less expensive than the alternative.
Individuals who are seeking an alternative to going to trial to end their marriage may want to consider mediation. A divorce attorney may consult with a client before the mediation process to determine his or her goals and then seek to obtain favorable terms.