Divorce mediation offers a range of benefits, such as usually being faster and more cost-effective than litigation in court.  The stages of divorce mediation allow couples to negotiate and discuss unresolved matters in order to reach an agreement that both parties would be willing to accept. Matters such as child custody, division of property, and spousal support are usually some of the common issues addressed during mediation. If you and your spouse are open-minded and would like to reach a resolution to have your divorce finalized as soon as possible, here’s a look at the typical five stages of mediation.

1. Introductory Stage 

 In this stage, your mediator will assess the background information of your divorce and explain the approach that would improve the chances of reaching an agreement in mediation. 

2. Information-Gathering Stage 

 This stage is crucial in ensuring that all information and facts relating to your case are available. The mediator will ask for financial statements and help you get information that might be needed to resolve a dispute. The mediator will also explain how a judge would divide all assets and how child custody, child support, and spousal support would be determined to help create an ideal approach for your case. 

3. Framing Stage 

 The needs and interests of both parties are discussed in this stage, where the ideal outcome for mediation is framed to see how both spouses can reach an agreement in which they feel that their interests have been met.

4. Negotiation Stage 

 The mediator assists both spouses to discuss all options once their interests have been framed, and encourages them to negotiate through compromising or conceding to reach an agreement.

5. Concluding Stage 

Once a tentative settlement has been agreed upon the mediator will draw up a written agreement for you to review with your legal representative. A memorandum will then be drawn up with your settlement for you to sign upon concluding negotiations. The memorandum will serve as the framework for your final settlement agreement to be filed with the court.

Divorce mediation won’t necessarily go through these stages in this particular order and some of the stages might have to be repeated in order to reach an agreement, depending on the unique complexities of your divorce.

If you would like more advice on the stages of divorce mediation in California, contact Westover Law Group today.