If I use divorce mediation, will I have to go to court?

In California, couples who use mediation can obtain a complete, legal divorce without ever having to go to court. In fact, the Judicial Branch of California officially recommends that all couples consider divorce mediation as a way to save money while avoiding the hassle and stress of court appearances.

But mediation does not prevent a couple from going to court. For example, a couple may use mediation to create agreements about property and custody, then still choose to go before a judge to resolve issues of spousal support. In these cases, using mediation to resolve some issues out of court still saves the couple time and money.

For those couples who resolve all issues through mediation, court appearances are unnecessary and the divorce can be finalized by mail. A trained mediator can draw up all of the necessary paperwork and guide the divorcing parties through the process.

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