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A divorce can be complicated, overwhelming, and driven by emotion. It can be difficult to see eye-to-eye with your spouse as you try to divide assets, calculate alimony, and/or and determine child custody arrangements. While some divorcing couples are able to come to mutually-favorable terms on their own, others need the assistance of an unbiased third party. Mediation can be a great tool for divorcing couples who can’t seem to agree on the terms of their divorce but don’t want to put their future in the hands of a judge.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a technique that helps divorcing couples to find mutual ground in their disputes. The process uses an impartial third party who is trained in the art of mediation. This third party is not empowered to make any decisions regarding the divorce. Instead, the mediator works with each spouse individually and helps them work through disputes. The final decisions are left up to the divorcing spouses. The mediator simply helps to move the conversation in a positive and productive direction.

Benefits of Mediation

Mediation can be a great choice for divorcing couples who need a little bit of help finalizing the important details of their divorce. Los Angeles couples in the midst of a divorce often choose to use mediation because:

  • It is a less-expensive option than disputing issues in court;
  • The final decision is left to the couple, and not a neutral third party;
  • Both spouses have control over the situation;
  • It is less stressful than other methods of dispute resolution;
  • Mediation helps to encourage open communication to get to the root of a couple’s issues;
  • Mediation proceedings are confidential, meaning that there is no public transcript or record;
  • Mediation provides a great platform for compromise and amicable resolutions.

Mediation Process

Once you’ve decided that you want to use mediation to solve disputes in your Los Angeles divorce you will have to choose a mediator that you trust. Once you and your spouse have agreed on a mediator you can begin to prepare for the mediation process. In preparation, you and your attorney will review the issues that are still in dispute in your divorce and determine the arguments that will be made in support of your position. You will also gather documents, evidence, and other information that will help to support your case.

Here is what you can expect on the day of your Los Angeles divorce mediation proceedings:

Initial Meeting. The mediation process itself will begin with an initial meeting of all involved parties. You, your spouse, your attorneys (if you want them present), and the mediator will sit down and go over the guidelines and expectations for the mediation process. The mediator will make it clear that the proceedings are confidential and that you will be expected to honor that agreement. The mediator will also reemphasize that they have no authority to make decisions and that their only role is to help move disputes in a positive direction.

Opening Statements. You and your spouse will each have an opportunity to make an opening statement. These statements will cover the issues that you would like to discuss and the resolution that you, personally, would like to achieve.

Joint Session. The mediator may decide to have a joint discussion with you and your spouse to get a better understanding of your case, opinions, and desires. If you and your spouse are willing, the mediator may want to have you engage in an honest and open discussion about the disputes in your case.

Individual Sessions. You’ve decided to use mediation because you and your spouse can’t see eye-to-eye on some important decisions in your divorce. Sitting together in a joint session may not be the best way to get you on the same page. The mediator may ask to speak with each of you separately to make progress. The mediator may move back and forth between these individual sessions, bringing information from one spouse to another.

Negotiation and Settlement. Once the mediator sees that some progress has been made they may decide to bring you and your spouse back together for a joint discussion. The mediator will provide feedback, discuss the issues that were raised in the individual sessions, and help spouses come to a mutually-agreeable decision. If you and your spouse come to an agreement the mediator may put it in writing and have you sign it on the spot. This agreement will be a binding legal contract that you will be legally required to obey.

Los Angeles Divorce Mediation Attorneys

Are you in the middle of a divorce but are having a difficult time reaching mutually-agreeable decisions with your spouse? Call the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Berenji & Associates to find out if mediation is the right choice for you. Mediation is a powerful dispute resolution tool and can help you overcome tough issues in your divorce.

Our attorneys have more than two decades of combined legal experience and have helped clients just like you achieve positive results using mediation. If you are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye with your spouse, but want to avoid the cost and headache of court, do not hesitate to call us today to learn more. We offer a free consultation and would be happy to answer any questions you have.