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Eight Divorce Mediation Myths Debunked


Mediation is an effective process for reaching an equitable settlement in a divorce.

Unfortunately, prevailing myths about mediation can jeopardize its success. Here is the real story behind the myths.

1. Myth: I won’t be able to get information about my spouse’s assets

California law requires your spouse to disclose assets to you. Hiding assets is unlawful.

2. Myth: My spouse will never agree with anything

The trained mediator is a neutral person who helps find common ground and facilitates agreement on issues in dispute. The process is uniquely helpful in encouraging agreement in the highly contentious environment of a contested divorce.

3. Myth: I will be forced to compromise everything that is important to me

Both sides must make some compromises for mediation to work. However, the point of mediation is reaching an equitable agreement through fair compromises. Your mediation preparation strategy should analyze what you are willing to compromise and for what term in return.

4. Myth: Since mediation is not legally binding, we may have to go to court anyway

It is true that mediation itself is not legally binding. However, the mediation agreement is a binding contract. Once you and your spouse sign, you are both held to those terms. In addition, most couples have incentive to reach an enforceable agreement to avoid going to court.

5. Myth: The mediator will take my spouse’s side and be unfair to me

The mediator has a duty to be impartial and most mediators take this standard very seriously. A mediator who acted partially would not be allowed to continue and could lose the opportunity to mediate in the future, but this is a rare circumstance that is unlikely to occur in your case.

6. Myth: My case is too complex to mediate

Mediation is suited for all types of cases at every level of complexity. Mediation can resolve divorces that involve high-value assets, unusual circumstances, and highly contentious issues. Although most mediations typically take a single day, you have the option of multi-session mediations to resolve complex matters.

7. Myth: The other parent will deprive me of my right to raise my child

California child custody and visitation laws follow the overriding principle that the child’s interests come first. A parent is not permitted to deprive the other of a relationship with their child except under rare circumstances when the child’s wellbeing is at risk. Trained mediators will guide the agreement toward an equitable arrangement that complies with the child-first standard and your lawyer will advise you of your rights as a parent.

8. Myth: Mediation is always the best process for every divorce

Mediation is an effective process that often saves stress, time, and money and results in better settlements. Although mediation can benefit the majority of couples engaged in contested divorces, the process is not right for every situation.

Learn the real story about divorce mediation in California

Consult with Fresno and San Diego divorce lawyer and trained mediator Rebecca Medina to learn what mediation is and how it can help you resolve your divorce.

Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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