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Why You Should Attempt Divorce Mediation Before Litigation

San Diego Divorce Attorney

Why You Should Attempt Divorce Mediation Before LitigationEnding a marriage is rarely a simple or easy endeavor, but there is more than one way to handle this type of matter. While many people believe that divorces end with heated court battles, this is actually only true for a small fraction of the divorce cases that unfold in California and throughout the United States. Every marriage is different; therefore, every divorce case is different, so it is vital to seek guidance for your unique situation with an experienced San Diego divorce attorney to determine the best approach to your own divorce.

Since it is generally in the best interests of anyone divorcing to do so as quickly as possible with minimal litigation, divorce mediation has become a popular alternative dispute resolution method for divorcing couples across the nation. This process can significantly reduce the time and expense required to finalize a divorce, and there are also several other benefits to pursuing divorce mediation before turning to litigation aside from the savings it can offer.

Understanding Divorce Mediation

Mediation is a method for resolving disputes that requires the two spouses in a divorce case to meet with someone who can help guide their decisions – a mediator. This mediator is typically a family law attorney with no professional ties or conflicts of interest favoring either party. Their job is to guide negotiations between the spouses. If you choose mediation for your divorce, you and your spouse can civilly negotiate your divorce terms in a more comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. The mediator will guide the discussion, answer questions about California legal statutes, and help the couple draft their divorce agreement.

Divorce mediation only takes as long or as little as you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse require to reach mutually agreeable terms for your divorce. Some divorcing couples will meet weekly for several weeks or conduct daily mediation sessions for a few days until they successfully negotiate all of the terms of their divorce. The divorcing spouses may also wish to have their respective legal representatives attend some or all of their mediation sessions.

Divorce Mediation Is Swift and Efficient

Litigation for any civil case always has the potential to drag on for months or even years in very complicated cases. When it comes to your divorce, it’s likely that you and your spouse are ready to move on with your respective separate lives, and divorce mediation may allow you to do so more quickly and effectively than you might expect.

Mediation typically requires a fraction of the time that divorce litigation demands. Additionally, the divorcing spouses will ultimately pay less in attorneys’ fees since they will not need legal representation as often or as long as they might during divorce litigation.

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Mediation Keeps You in Control

One of the most difficult aspects of litigating any divorce is the possibility for the spouses to wind up with a divorce decree handed down through cold, impartial legal statutes instead of more personalized handling of their situation. When you litigate your divorce, you are leaving the final decisions about the elements of your divorce decree in the hands of a judge, whether that includes property division, child custody, alimony, and many other possible factors.

Mediation, on the other hand, allows you and your spouse to negotiate these factors on your own terms. For example, while a judge may litigate your case with a particular child custody arrangement that technically meets the state’s legal requirements for attending to the children’s best interests, it may not work for your family’s unique situation. Your mediation sessions could allow you and your spouse to develop a more customized parenting plan that accounts for your family’s needs and lifestyle.

Instead of needing to repeatedly revisit the court to have your parenting plan or custody agreement altered after certain life events, you and your spouse could potentially draft a more dynamic agreement that suits your family better. Additionally, you can also revisit your agreement in the future should your needs change, mediating any post-judgment motions that either party might file in response to changing life events and financial circumstances.

Mediation Is Private

Whenever you litigate any civil case in court, whether it is a divorce, another family law matter, or any other kind of civil claim, all of the proceedings that unfold in the courtroom are transcribed and formally documented into public record. It is fairly easy for anyone to obtain public records of a court case, including your divorce. Mediation, on the other hand, is entirely private. Everything you and your spouse discuss during your mediation sessions remains confidential.

Your mediator can help you and your spouse draft your divorce agreement, and your respective attorneys will review this proposed agreement to ensure it suits your needs and future interests. Once complete, the mediator will submit the proposed divorce agreement to a judge for a final review process and approval. While your divorce decree will become part of the public record, your proceedings remain entirely private.

More Personalized Divorce Results Through Mediation

Ultimately, the best benefit of choosing divorce mediation in lieu of litigation is the ability to remain in control of your divorce. You and your spouse can negotiate a divorce agreement that may have been completely impossible to reach through litigation, saving both of you immeasurable amounts of time, stress, and money while leading to more personalized results. Your San Diego divorce attorney can help you prepare for mediation, present a solid case as you establish your expectations in mediation sessions, and provide many other professional legal services that can streamline your divorce proceedings.

The sooner you begin working with your San Diego divorce lawyer, the sooner you can potentially reach a mutually agreeable conclusion to your marriage. Your attorney can help you prepare for the proceedings ahead and clarify California family law statutes so you can understand how they will apply to your divorce proceedings. Your legal counsel will also assist in exploring alternative dispute resolution like mediation if you and your spouse are agreeable to the idea. Contact an experienced and reliable San Diego divorce attorney as soon as possible if you think mediation may be the best possible solution to your divorce.

 

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