The Different Steps of the Divorce Mediation Process

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationIn California, as anywhere else in the USA, the divorce mediation process has 3 steps to it. The 3 steps include orientation, disclosure and resolution. All the steps have been discussed here.

Step 1 – Orientation

In the first step of the procedure, the mediator will familiarize you and your spouse with goals of the mediation process. It will also ensure that your mediator is aware of the various issues and facts that need to be resolved in your case. Both you and your spouse will have a say in all the matters that will be discussed. If the mediator can familiarize himself with your particular case, it would be easier for all of you to work towards a co-operative resolution.

Your mediator would want to know the following things –

  • The length of your marriage and the marital style of living.
  • The issues that are most important to you and your spouse, i.e. the issues that you would like to resolve. Also the issues where you and your spouse have an understanding.
  • You and your spouse’s income from every possible source. The present and the predicted future financial situation of both the spouses. Your assets, property, debts, liabilities, and expenditures.
  • Both your roles in the caring of your children.
  • Both your work schedules and any other commitments outside work.

Step 2 – Disclosure

The second step in the mediation process requires both spouses to declare or disclose their assets, income, debts, and expenses of the family estate to each other. The declaration of disclosure has to be absolutely correct and accurate. Revelations regarding all community and personal property have to be made. Your mediator will help both of you to fill declaration forms that provide the details of your marital property, debts, assets, income and expenditures. The declaration, as required by California law, will be exchanged with the other party and the mediator.

Step 3 – Resolution

The last step is possible only if you and your spouse have communicated effectively, have been successful in being honest with each other and have truthfully disclosed your finances to each other. It means that you are now ready to reach an agreement on the issues that are most important to each other. Once you have reached an agreement and resolved your issues, the mediator will prepare a final settlement document. It will be reviewed and the mediator will consider both your inputs.

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