Family law mediation is becoming an increasingly popular option for families who want to resolve legal issues in an amicable fashion and to avoid a stranger, i.e. a judge, takes control of your life and makes decisions for you. In mediation, you take control. Parties embroiled in a legal dispute often become enemies through the adversarial litigation process, which harms every member of the family. Mediation puts the decision-making power back in the hands of the parties who will be most affected by the resolution of the case and emphasizes the importance of cooperation.

What Is The Process Involved In Mediation?

Mediation is a negotiation that is carefully guided by a trained professional. A mediator is an impartial person who represents neither side of a legal dispute. His or her role is to try to get the parties to realize the risks of taking their case to court and to realize the benefits of coming up with their own settlement agreement. He or she listens to each party's side and provides information to the parties. The mediator remains neutral and does not take sides. However, the mediator is not a decision-maker like a judge. The parties decide whether they reach an agreement and what the terms of that agreement are. The mediator is instrumental in helping the parties come up with creative solutions that work best for their family.

How Is Mediation Started?

In California, mediation may be initiated by the family court or may be voluntarily entered into by the parties involved in a family law dispute.

What Types Of Cases Are Resolved Through Mediation?

Nearly any family law case can be resolved through mediation if the parties are willing to work together to reach a peaceful resolution of their case. Some types of cases that have been successfully resolved through mediation include cases involving:

  • Cohabitation
  • Paternity
  • Divorce
  • Legal separation
  • Division of property
  • Child custody
  • Child visitation
  • Parental relocation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Guardianship
  • Adoption
  • Marital agreements (agreements made during marriage regarding specific issues)
  • Post-marital problems and issues in deciding child custody and visitation, child & spousal support and allocation of property

What Are The Benefits Of Mediation?

Mediation allows the parties to come up with their own agreement and avoid boilerplate judgments imposed by judges who are unfamiliar with their family and their individual needs. Because the parties help come up with the agreement, they are less likely to disobey it or try to have the court modify it later. The parties learn to work together so that they can have a positive relationship going forward. Mediation is confidential, so what is said in mediation cannot find its way into a courtroom. Mediation minimizes family conflict and creates the possibility for greater harmony.

Learn More About Mediation

The Law & Mediation Offices of Diane J.N. Morin supports families working through their problems through the process of mediation. To learn more about this process and how it can help your family, contact us online or call 650-473-0822.