California couples have the option of using divorce mediation in lieu of traditional divorce litigation. With mediation, the divorce process will be less expensive and take less time. Furthermore, each spouse could have greater control over the final agreement.
Because there is no formal discovery in mediation, preparation is limited. In many mediation cases, the mediator, the two parties and their attorneys will have a general meeting in the same room. The mediator will then explain the rules of mediation.
Confidentiality is a key requirement of divorce mediation. Everything that is discussed or takes place during mediation sessions are typically not to be revealed to anyone outside the room unless both parties agree to have the information disclosed. This includes any recordings that are made during the meetings. Depending on the state in which the divorce is taking place, there may be state regulations that compel the mediator to keep confidentiality.
Once the rules of mediation have been addressed, the mediator will provide an explanation of the process. After this has been completed, the spouses or their legal representatives may offer opening statements addressing that they feel should be discussed.
It is not unusual to have cases in which the parties become extremely emotional or antagonistic during the meeting. At these moments, the parties will be placed into separate rooms, and the mediator will move back and forth between them while holding private caucuses with each one.
A family law attorney may recommend certain legal avenues such as mediation to ensure that their client's rights and interests are protected during disputes regarding divorce legal issues. If necessary, litigation could be used to pursue the desired settlement terms.