While California couples whose marriages are ending may assume that they have to go to court to settle a divorce, that is not true. In fact, it is preferred that a couple settles their divorce on their own without the need for a judge to create an order after a formal court proceeding. For those who are thinking about mediation instead of litigation as a means of handling the process, it is important to know what the mediation process really entails.

First, the mediator takes a neutral stance throughout the process. His or her job is to facilitate a conversation that hopefully results in a settlement that both sides can agree to. Next, it is good to know that family law is open to interpretation and may be flexible depending on the needs of someone going through a divorce. While it may be possible to find one attorney’s opinion, that may not be what another legal professional thinks about a particular issue.

Those who go through mediation should not worry that the gender of the mediator will influence the outcome. A mediator has no power to create or enforce any type of resolution. The only people who have the power to control the outcome of a mediation session are the individuals going through the divorce process.

Settling a divorce may be an emotional and contentious period in an individual’s life. However, mediation may make it easier for both sides to express themselves, talk about their needs and make compromises that lead to the best possible settlement for both sides. If an agreement is made during mediation, it may be reviewed by a judge and entered into the record. Each party is entitled to legal counsel throughout the process.