California Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals California Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Mediation/Counseling Divorce Process Legal Separation Annulments Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum California Products Divorce by County
Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support
Mandated vs. Private Divorce Mediation - Is There a Difference?
When couples make the decision to legally separate or dissolve their marriage, they have more options than to just muddle through it on their own or retain attorneys and go to battle. Discovering what those alternatives are is part of the education process we offer couples as they embark on their journey to transition into the next phase of their lives.
If a couple chooses to go through the court system, whether or not they have legal representation, most courts require them to attend mediation or conciliation before their case is heard in a courtroom. This type of mediation includes a quick review of the file by a court appointed mediator at the courthouse, a short question and answer session to find out what the main issues are, and a chance for the couple to come to an agreement on one or more of the core issues of a divorce; property, income and assets, custody of children, and support. Often these agreements are incomplete and neither party feels really heard because of the time constraints on this type of mediation.
Private mediation offers couples a more flexible time frame, allowing ample time to be spent on issues that may be more complicated than others. The mediator asks pertinent questions which encourages each party to think about the future and how their decisions will impact not only them, but any children that are involved as well. While the courts have guidelines regarding custody and support, private mediation offers custom agreements for families that implement what works best for their particular set of circumstances with a flexible timeline that allows the parties to make appointments convenient to each of their schedules.
Couples who agree to private mediation instead of being mandated to cooperate with a court mediator or conciliation facilitator, take back the control that is handed over to attorneys and the judge during the divorce process. In essence they are saying “these are our lives, our children, our property, our assets; we will decide what happens”. By keeping the adversarial court system out of it, it is often more peaceful, less stressful, and in the best interest of each individual and the children who are involved.
Joint or sole custody may be awarded based on the best interests of the child and other factors that include 1) the preference of the child, 2) the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving relationship between the child and the other parent, 3) the child's health, safety and welfare, the nature and contact with both parents and 4) the history of alcohol and drug use. Marital misconduct may be considered.
Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Established in 1996
© 1996 - 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Divorce Source. All Rights Reserved.