Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. There are so many details you’ll have to address.

Who will get custody of the kids, and when? How will your assets and debts be divided? Will one of you have to pay child support and/or alimony? A court won’t finalize your divorce until these questions are resolved.

You and your spouse are at odds, yet you’re required to agree about what your divorce will look like. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you navigate the terms of your divorce. Mediation is particularly helpful, especially if you want to retain full control over the terms of your divorce.

Am I A Good Candidate For Mediation?

Do you think you and your spouse will eventually be able to get on the same page about the terms of your divorce? Do you agree about most things, but aren’t quite seeing eye-to-eye on others? Are you both willing to compromise? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you’re probably a great candidate for mediation.

Mediation involves a neutral third-party known as a mediator. They don’t decide anything for you. Instead, they listen to what you and your spouse have to say, offer advice, and help to guide negotiations in a positive direction. Mediators tend to be retired attorneys and judges, so they have an in-depth understanding of California divorce law. They know how to move conversations in the right direction and help you find common ground.

Since mediators don’t make decisions, spouses have the final say. This process works best when both spouses know that there has to be room for compromise.

Should I Choose Mediation If I Don’t Want a Court to Make Decisions?

Yes. Mediation allows you to retain full control over the terms of your divorce. You and your spouse, alone, get to decide what your divorce looks like. You negotiate the terms however you’d like, as long as they’re within the confines of the law.

You need to make mediation work if you don’t want a court to step in. If mediation isn’t successful, a court will intervene. A judge will consider both sides and make unilateral decisions about the divorce. The judge will set the terms, and you and your spouse will both have to comply. Mediation keeps important decisions about custody, money, and property in your hands.

Are There Other Options Similar to Mediation?

Mediation is the easiest way to hammer out the details of your divorce while also maintaining control over the outcome. It’s so beneficial that many courts will require spouses to attempt mediation before they’ll entertain a dispute in court. There are, however, other ways to navigate a divorce outside of the courtroom.

Arbitration is a great way to keep the terms of a divorce private and get a little outside help. It’s essentially a private trial. A neutral third party considers arguments and then issues a binding decision. Spouses don’t have control over the outcome.

Collaborative divorce is similar to mediation in that spouses have control over the outcome. Both spouses sit down with their attorneys and attempt to negotiate the divorce. Both agree to not take the case to court. You’ll have to start from scratch – and find new lawyers – if you aren’t able to resolve your disputes using this process.

How Do I Find a Divorce Mediator?

If you’re considering mediation it means that your divorce isn’t entirely straightforward. There are issues you and your spouse need help resolving. It’s important that you also contact an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights and help you navigate the complicated waters of your divorce. When you hire an attorney, they’ll be able to recommend a mediator to help you and your spouse. Your attorney can even be present during the mediation session(s) to offer advice whenever it’s needed.