When dissolving a marriage, mediation is one option that might be less expensive and quicker than the court process. During mediation, both parties talk separately and together with a neutral third party who helps a pair communicate to reach a mutually beneficial conclusion. Couples in California who are considering a divorce may want to know if mediation is right for them.

Some people think of divorce as a process that has a winner and a loser, and this mindset typically makes the proceedings more contentious and time-consuming. Mediation involves compromise so that people each get some of the things they want in a settlement agreement. Both partners must be ready to communicate honestly and listen for a mediation to be successful. Each person must make an attempt to understand the other’s position and be open to solutions that satisfy both people.

When it comes to property division, both spouses need to be familiar with their community property. If one party might be hiding assets, mediation might not be the best option. One may need a forensic accountant if the other party is not forthcoming in this regard.

In court, a judge makes determinations for a couple. Mediation is different as the mediator does not have the power to enforce anything, and a couple chooses whether to use an agreement created in mediation or not. It is possible for mediation to not provide results, so people must evaluate the likelihood of a resolution.

Divorce may involve child custody, alimony, spousal support and property division. One may need an attorney when going through a divorce whether using mediation or not. Even when using an alternative means of dissolving a marriage, a judge can finalize a divorce agreement. This allows the court to take action if one party does not cooperate.