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Divorce Library > Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation - Divorce Mediation with Divorce Mediators for Alternative Dispute Resolution & Conflict Resolution

Southern California Superior Court - Southern California Divorce Attorneys
What is divorce mediation? Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where divorcing or separating parties come to a divorce or separation agreement with the help of a divorce mediator. A mediator should be trained in divorce conflict resolution, be a neutral third party and adhere to certain mediation ethics and standards. Generally, a divorce mediator will meet with both parties together, facilitate communication as needed, help the divorcing parties articulate their goals and creatively resolve the divorce or child custody issues they are faced with. Generally, if the divorcing parties reach an agreement in divorce mediation the mediator will draft the divorce agreement or child custody agreement for them. Divorce attorneys are typically not present in divorce mediation unless both parties agree to it and are equally represented -- it's usually the divorcing parties and a divorce mediator present.

Cost of Divorce Mediation
What is the cost of a divorce mediator? The cost of a divorce mediator can vary depending on many factors such as the education, background, experience and even the location of the divorce mediator. Divorce mediators will have divorce mediation training but some divorce mediators will also have an extensive background in mental health, social work or family law. If mediation is not private and court connected (see below) it may be free.

Is Mediation Mandatory?
Is divorce mediation mandatory? In Calfornia, mediation is mandatory for contested child custody and visitation related matters. The Caifornia Family Code Section §3170 requires parties in a child custody dispute to attempt to resolve their child custody issues through mediation before the court makes child custody orders in a litigated hearing -- such as in dissolution and paternity filings. Mediation may also be used in guardianship cases. While the law requires parents contesting child custody or visitation to participate in the mediation process, there is no requirement that they reach an agreement.

California Family Code Section 3170. (a) If it appears on the face of a petition, application, or other pleading to obtain or modify a temporary or permanent custody or visitation order that custody, visitation, or both are contested, the court shall set the contested issues for mediation. (b) Domestic violence cases shall be handled by Family Court Services in accordance with a separate written protocol approved by the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines for services, other than services provided under this chapter, that counties may offer to parents who have been unable to resolve their disputes. These services may include, but are not limited to, parent education programs, booklets, videotapes, or referrals to additional community resources.

Types of Divorce Mediation
What types of divorce mediation are available? As noted above, divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution and conflict resultion option that typically does not involve a judge, attorneys or the court. Generally, there are two types of divorce mediation available for divorcing parties, namely, court-connected mediation and private mediation.
Court Connected Mediation - Court connected mediation is typically provided by the family court services department (also known as Conciliation Court) through the Superior Court. Court-connected mediation is typically publicly funded and provided free. In some counties court-connected mediation is confidential and in others it is non-confidential. In confidential mediation the mediator typically does not make report back to the judge what was discussed in mediation unless parents mutually agree to it. In non-confidential mediation the divorce mediator may report what discussed back to the judge and make a child custody recommendation. This can become the temporary child custody arrangement until the judge hears the case and makes a decision.
Private Mediation - Private mediation is typically provided by a divorce mediator in private practice. Private divorce mediation is different because it is not provided by the family court services office at the local courthouse. The cost of private mediation is generally higher than that of mediation provided by the courthouse. In private divorce mediation, divorcing parties may have more control of the mediation process.
If you need legal advice or legal guidance you will need to speak with a Southern California divorce attorney. To find a divorce mediator in Southern California click here >>
. Divorce Mediation . Family Law Mediation
. Private Mediation . Private Mediator
. Court-Connected Mediation . Court Connected Mediator
. Reporting Mediation (Non-Confidential) . Non-Reporting Mediation (Confidential)
. Child Custody Mediation . Unmarried Parent Mediation
. Family Law Facilitator . Family Court Services
. Concilation Courts . California Mandatory Mediation
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