What is Divorce Mediation?
Although more people are turning to mediation as a better solution for handling their divorce, many people remain confused about what mediation is.
In Sacramento County, many people confuse private mediation with court “mediation”, yet the two are very different. In court “mediation,” or “child custody recommending counseling,” as it is now called, the parties meet with a child custody recommending counselor(CCRC) who works for the court. The CCRC tries to help the parents reach an agreement about custody and parenting time. If no agreement is reached, the “child custody recommending counselor,” will write a report for the court and make a recommendation as to what he or she feels is in the best interest of the child or children. The Judge then makes an order after reviewing that report and hearing from both parties or their attorneys.
Private, confidential divorce mediation is very different from what happens in court. At Better Solutions Mediation™, our confidential process is designed to help our clients resolve their conflicts without going to court. With an experienced attorney mediator and a tested mediation process, our clients can find a fair and practical way to end their marriage, divide their property and, if children are involved, continue to parent them together as sensibly as possible.
In private, confidential divorce mediation, parties create their own agreements with the help of their attorney mediator, who guides them through the process. The attorney mediator’s role is to remain impartial and neutral. Mediators do not represent either party, but work on behalf of both parties. While an attorney mediator helps the Parties understand the law, she does not evaluate or judge the parties’ agreements. A mediator, as a neutral facilitator, should never write a recommending report if the parties are unable to reach an agreement. An attorney mediator with the right training can help parties work through an impasse if one is reached. A mediator is a creative problem solver along with the parties, helping them find win-win solutions that will meet their needs in the long run.
Attorney mediators also prepare all of the necessary paperwork and file it with the court. Private mediation clients do not appear in court, the work is all done at the mediation table, where the mediator ensures that there is a balanced exchange. Most clients find that communication is improved during the mediation process. Better communication helps the parties avoid misunderstandings and future conflict. Preventing future conflict saves families from the stress and high cost of ongoing court battles.