How discovery can lay the groundwork for divorce mediation

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Divorce Mediation |

Divorce mediation is often preferable to a trial as it can be more cost-effective, time-efficient and confidential. However, both spouses might not be on board with the process.

Still, just because a couple does not start with mediation does not mean the option is off of the table. Amidst the legal process, one party may be able to convince the other of mediation’s benefits. One tool to achieve this is through the discovery process.

What the discovery process accomplishes

During a divorce, the discovery process helps both sides gather important information. They will exchange details and documents about things like money and property, as well as emotional and mental health.

By doing this, each side can get a clearer picture of each other’s situation. This serves to ensure honesty in proceedings and fairness in the resolution.

How the discovery process can lead to mediation

A hesitant spouse might be more willing to negotiate through mediation after gaining a full view of the situation through the discovery process. For example, putting everything into the open could facilitate communication and understanding. When each person is confident that the other is not hiding anything, agreements may come more readily.

Discovery can even allow spouses to find common ground and uncover shared goals for the future. By focusing on what they have in common, they can create plans that make sense for both of them instead of letting a judge decide.

Furthermore, as spouses address sensitive topics during discovery, they may appreciate the benefits of keeping matters private through the use of mediation. Court proceedings are a matter of public record in California, exposing the parties to potentially embarrassing revelations. Mediation can leave sensitive details under wraps and preserve each side’s dignity.

In many situations, mediation is most effective after completing an initial discovery. For that reason, even if one’s spouse is not yet considering mediation, an individual can proceed with discovery and possibly use the process to encourage the other to engage in negotiation through mediation.