Is Private Vs. Mandated Divorce Mediation Different?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsThe decision to end their relations and get a divorce is not an easy one for spouses. There are several factors that come into play when making the decision. And once the decision is made, there are plenty of options available to the spouses instead of just hiring a lawyer each and getting ready for battle.  As a couple goes through divorce, they will learn these stages, which will help them in the next part of their lives.

Mandated Divorce Mediation

When a couple decides that the best way to end their relation is going through a divorce, the courts will still, irrespective of the predicament and mutual feelings, require the spouses to attend mediation. This type of mediation is known as mandated mediation. The mandate to this mediation is given to them by the courts.

This type of mediation is unlike a private Orange County divorce mediation which will be discussed later in this blog. In this mediation, first up, there is a review of the divorce file by the mediator. The mediator in this case, is appointed by the court. Once they have gone through the file, the mediator will then have a short question and answer session with the spouses to identify the primary issues. Once that is done and the mediator is aware of the situation, they will give time to the spouses to come to a mutual agreement between themselves before a formal trial.

The agreement in a mandated divorce need not be on all the core issues and be a comprehensive document. Instead, even agreement on one of the core issues such as child custody, property, etc, is welcomed. This kind of mediation is often left wanting because of its constraints of time.

Private Divorce Mediation

Private divorce mediation on the other hand, is considerably different to mandated divorce. First up, this kind of divorce mediation is not enforced on the spouses by the courts. Instead, this kind of mediation is chosen by the spouses themselves to solve their issues related to divorce. Secondly, unlike a mandated divorce, the mediator will often take a back seat in such proceedings. Instead, they like to let the spouses take center stage.

In a private mediation, the spouses have the utmost authority whether it’s related to the timing of the divorce, the length of the proceedings, the resolution of issues, etc. They get to dictate the speed with which the mediation will go and in most cases, also the schedule of mediation. On top of that, most importantly, a private divorce mediation is not a step or a stage in a divorce proceeding. It is a divorce process, stand alone on its own.

Hence, the spouses will have to come up with a comprehensive resolution in this case which is mutually successful for the mediation to end.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”