If you live in California and are seeking a divorce, you may be staring down months of messy, emotional negotiations and arguments. Divorce can be expensive and volatile and may leave you feeling depressed, anxious and unsure about the future. One alternative to divorce that offers a long list of benefits financially, mentally and emotionally is mediation. According to Mediate, an amicable arrangement that is beneficial for all parties is the goal of mediation.

One benefit of mediation is that you can relieve stress in what is already an extremely stressful situation. Divorce requires an extensive amount of time in court appearances, multiple confrontations and attorney meetings, while mediation is designed to encourage friendly cooperation.

Mediation can also be significantly less expensive than divorce. Mediators are often court-appointed professionals and the process is extremely simplified. Typically, mediation costs 40-60% less than a divorce. This depends on the specific concerns each couple faces such as custody and visitation schedules and splitting assets.

Mediation also offers a level of flexibility you may not get from a traditional divorce. Divorce can drag on for weeks, months or years, while mediation is typically complete in four to ten weeks. This is more of a brainstorming process to determine how all parties can be happy at the end of the marriage rather than a confrontational meeting in court.

While divorce is often public and embarrassing, mediation is confidential and completely private. You may never be required to show your face in court as all the filing, paperwork and document signing is handled by the mediator rather than in a public court.

If you are going through a divorce in California and feel you and your ex can come to an amicable agreement, you may want to consider the benefits of mediation. A family law attorney can discuss the best option for you.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.