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Understand the mediation process

When California couples realize divorce is in their future, they may want to keep the process amicable, especially if they have children. A previous blog discussed the reasons why mediation may or may not be good for a couple. This blog will explain the mediation process so people can determine if this is a good option for them.

When couples work with a mediator, they typically attend several mediation sessions. FindLaw says that the mediation process may take anywhere from one to six months to complete, depending on how complex a family's situation is. This process generally starts with a meeting to decide what the sessions will cover. The mediator typically helps the couple understand what kind of information they need to consider and which aspects of a divorce they should discuss first. In later sessions, a couple usually discusses all of the issues they brought up in the first meeting and the mediator helps them figure out solutions. 

During the mediation process, a mediator usually makes sure the couple communicates clearly. This person may ask one of the spouses to explain his or her point of view or ask questions so each spouse fully understands the situation. Additionally, a mediator helps the couple find solutions that neither had considered before and explains how the court may view some of the problems the couple is facing.

It is important for people to remember that mediation may go more smoothly when they work with an expert. According to Money Crashers, it is a good idea for couples to conduct interviews with professionals before they hire someone. People may want to ask a mediator how many divorces he or she has overseen. This is because a mediator with much experience may be better equipped to help people work through their unique situation. It is also a good idea for people to look into a mediator's educational background. This person should ideally have a background in law or mental health, as well as training in mediation. Additionally, couples may want to make sure a professional understands the mediation standards of the American Bar Association.

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