What You Ought To Know About Divorce Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMuch has been said and written about divorce mediation, and yet there are some things no one really tells you. Here are a few things you should know before you get into your first session.

Even if you arrive at an agreement, you may need a lawyer

While it is reassuring to have arrived at a mutually agreeable settlement during the divorce mediation process, it is still advisable to consult with a divorce attorney before finalizing the paperwork. This is especially critical if your mediation is being conducted by someone without a background in family law. It also helps to ensure the terms of the settlement are legally enforceable and that all your needs have been met adequately. A good divorce attorney can spot loopholes and advise on any tweaks that can help make it watertight or take care of contingencies, as the case may be.

What goes on in mediation stays private

Sharing details of your marital life to an absolute stranger is never easy. A lot of couples going through a divorce worry that unlike an attorney-client relationship that is bound by certain confidentiality norms, a mediator-client equation may be different. If this is something that has held you back from mediation, banish the thought. You and your soon-to-be ex, as well as anyone else involved in the mediation will sign confidentiality agreements before starting the process to ensure none of what is shared during mediation sessions leaves the room.

There’s no such thing as a ‘typical mediator’

While there are different types of divorce mediators in terms of their professional backgrounds and qualifications, no two mediators are alike. Going with a mediator who is a counseling specialist is no guarantee that your sessions will necessarily be any less volatile. Depending on their individual experience and background, a divorce mediation specialist comes with their own set of unique skills. But it is the manner in which they conduct the sessions and their personal style that is often the differentiator for most couples. Take the time to meet with a few divorce mediators before you settle on one. Find somebody you are comfortable with. Within a larger firm, you may have the opportunity to talk to a couple of different people and finalize on working with the person you get the best vibes from.

Mediation is cheaper

It might not seem like it, but divorce mediation is actually cheaper than your alternatives. While you do pay for the mediation services of the independent mediator, this is often less expensive than having multiple meetings with your divorce attorneys to iron out the same issues. In addition, unlike a mediator who is trained to encourage dialogue, an attorney may not always be able to help open up channels to get you and your spouse talking. As such, you may end up seeing your divorce being settled in court and are likely to run up hefty legal bills.

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