First, What Mediation Can Do For You from California Divorce and Family Law Blog:
A Typical Divorce Mediation
In a “typical” divorce mediation, husband and wife try to negotiate the settlement terms of their divorce. Instead of going to court to have a judge decide about the custody of their children, the division of their property, and alimony and child support, they decide to negotiate and settle these issues themselves with the help of a mediator. The divorce mediator will guide them through the process, assist with the negotiations, explain what issues need to be addressed, and prepare a memorandum of understanding capturing the parties’ agreement. Ideally, at the end of the mediation, all issues will be settled and a divorce judgment can be entered with the court.
Mediating Only One Issue
Sometimes, divorcing couples start their case in court and later are given the option or are ordered to negotiate one or some of the issues in mediation. For example, when the parties have minor children, the court may order them to attend mediation to negotiate the custody of their children only.
Mediation After Divorce
Whether you choose to go to court or use divorce mediation, once you are divorced, circumstances can always change. Your children will get older and might need more financial support. Maybe you want to move and take the children with you. Perhaps you want to get married again. Whatever the reason may be, you can negotiate such issues in mediation even if you are already divorced. Once you reach an agreement, you or your attorney(s) can file the necessary paperwork in court for the modifications to take effect.
In many states, a new and quickly growing area of family mediation is marital mediation. Marital mediation is a process of assisted negotiation designed to preserve a marriage in ways not attempted by family therapy. The process uses family mediation skills to help couples negotiate new terms for their marriage. Marital mediation is not couples therapy or marriage counseling. There is no diagnosis, assessment or treatment of an illness or disability in the hopes of solving marital problems or achieving a better relationship. Through a dispute resolution approach, marital mediation provides the building blocks and a firm path to a happier and more satisfying relationship and marriage.
Couples may use marital mediation to enter into a written post-marital contract resolving issues such as how much of joint funds can each spend without checking first with the other, who owns what marital assets or how to cooperate in preparing a joint tax return. Other common marital mediation issues include her needs vs. his needs, intimacy issues, extramarital affairs, financial management, parenting practices and responsibilities, personal health and hygiene, religious practices and conflicts, living arrangements, career plans and expectations, relationships with family and friends and division of household labor and tasks.