Mediation is a confidential, practical, and effective way to resolve problems with the help of an impartial third party. It is a non-adversarial, informal, and flexible approach to conflict resolution, where the parties generally communicate directly; the role of the mediator is to facilitate communication between the parties, assist them in focusing on the real issues of the dispute, and generate options for settlement. Unlike a judge, commissioner, or arbitrator, decision-making authority does not reside with the mediator, but rather with the parties seeking to resolve the dispute. The courts may sometimes divide your belongings together 50/50 and overlook the personal or emotional value of specific items. Both parties are directly involved in the negotiation of the settlement, which also enhance the likelihood of continuing a civil relationship between both parties by using mediation. The agreements reached by the parties are incorporated into the divorce judgment and become an order of the court.
Mediation, particularly in a family law setting, provides a viable option for those who prefer to stay out of court, but does not take away your right to take your case to court or trial if mediation breaks down.
Other potential advantages of mediation include:
Julia M. Garwood is a family-law attorney and divorce mediator based in San Diego, CA.