Mediation: Weighing the Pros and Cons in Your CA Divorce

Pleasanton CA divorce attorneyAs we’ve discussed in previous blogs, mediation can be an excellent tool for anyone looking to navigate their CA divorce quickly, efficiently, and in a way that allows you more control over the outcome. An alternative to traditional divorce, mediation is a process where both parties discuss their desired outcome and negotiate to find a middle ground that works best for all that are involved. 

As great as the benefits are, most divorces do not entail the perfect scenario for this tool. Mediation could at times lead to a lot of frustration and additional complications, especially if you and the ex are on bad terms. So when does it make sense to implement mediation, and does it make more sense for you to take or forego this option? Today’s post is a look at this issue, where we’ll discuss factors to consider when making this decision. We’ll also talk specifics about how mediation could go wrong and what potential roadblocks you might end up facing.

Should I Consider Mediation for My CA Divorce?

Considering the amount of collaboration and cooperation that successful mediation requires, there’s a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you move forward. For one, do you and the ex get along? If things are outright hostile, mediation is not likely to work and will only draw out the proceedings. 

Financial matters are another aspect to consider. Do you both have a solid or similar understanding of your finances, and are you both willing to compromise and give up some of the assets to the other party? If the answer is a firm no, mediation is not likely to change that. 

However, if you’re both looking to move forward as cleanly as possible, and plan to either work together or co-parent effectively to make things easier for everyone, mediation can be a great choice. Somewhere in between? It may be worth considering the ways in which mediation can turn messy.

Mediation Missteps: How Things Can Go Wrong

There are several major mis-steps and mistakes that you want to avoid when dealing with mediation. One of the biggest pitfalls is having things turned around and against you during mediation. For example, if your ex could be approaching in bad faith and is more financially-savvy, or hire legal counsel to get an edge. This could lead to you being pressured to agree to unfavorable terms. 

A simpler way the ex can weaponize mediation against you is by drawing out the process as long as possible to drain you financially and emotionally. If someone truly doesn’t intend to negotiate and work together, mediation simply doesn’t work. 

Finally, there’s also the risk that, without the formalities of the full divorce process, certain things such as your assets and financial affairs might not get the full comb-through that they need. You may end up having certain assets de-valued, or accidentally give up certain rights as you move forward with mediation. 

As you can see, the risks to mediation are quite high. Like with anything, it is a tool that can be employed in the right situation, rather than a catch-all solution. 

If you’d like to learn more about mediation, or to discuss your options with a family law attorney in CA, know that we are here to help. Schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys at White Oak Law today by calling us at 925-271-0999.