Is Divorce Mediation Required in a California Divorce?

Divorce is an emotionally challenging event that is often rife with conflict between the two parties. This conflict can especially arise over the matter of who gets the children, when, where, and for how long. As a parent, it is common to feel that, through divorce, you will lose control of your parent-child relationship. This is a threatening situation and can lead to court battles where both parties are pitted against one another in trying to get the judge to side with them over how custody and visitation should be determined. Unfortunately, this is not optimum in the stress and even damage it can cause to the kids as well as the time, expense, and stress it inflicts on parents.

Mediation is a process that can resolve such conflicts outside the courtroom, saving that time, expense, and stress for the entire family. It brings the two sides together with the goal of cooperating to negotiate a peaceful resolution that both sides can agree with. The process is done with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator, whose job is to foster constructive communication and problem-solving as opposed to arguments and rants. It is done privately, in a safe space, and on the participants’ schedules as opposed to court schedules. It is a way of remaining in control of how such vital issues as child custody, marital property division, and other issues will be decided.

Need help with resolving a family law issue in Orange County? Call Burch Shepard Family Law Group at (949) 565-4158 to request an initial consultation.

When Mediation is Mandated in California

Divorce mediation is not required by the courts in California except in one situation. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a child custody and visitation arrangement between yourselves, the court can mandate that the two of you undergo the mediation process. Through this process, it is hoped that you and your spouse will be able to resolve your dispute. The goal is to come up with a mutually-acceptable custody and visitation agreement that can then be presented to the court for approval. Such an agreement would be reached through compromise and working together for the best interests of all concerned.

The mediated agreement may then become binding. However, what is decided through mediation does not necessarily have to become binding. If you or your spouse wish to seek an alternative to what was decided in mediation or wish to take your case to a judge to end the mediation, you have that right. In child custody disputes, the courts will not take up the case to decide it until or unless parents have engaged in mediation with a trained mediator to help them reach a resolution.

Burch Shepard Family Law Group Is Here to Help You

If you need legal guidance regarding your divorce, child custody matter, or any other family law issue, you can rely on our outstanding legal team. Because we practice family law exclusively, we have deep insight in California laws on these matters and how courts view them in making decisions. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, you can have peace of mind based on knowing your case is being with professionalism and effectiveness.

Contact us online or at (949) 565-4158 to arrange to speak with an attorney today.