As a professional family mediator in California, I often get asked about the differences between family mediation and divorce mediation. While both types of mediation involve resolving conflicts and coming to agreements, there are some key differences that are worth noting.
Family mediation is a process where a mediator works with a family to resolve disputes and improve communication. It can involve issues such as parenting plans, communication problems, sibling conflicts, or other family issues that are causing tension. The goal of family mediation is to create a safe and respectful space for family members to work through their issues and come to a resolution that works for everyone.
On the other hand, divorce mediation is a specific type of family mediation that is focused on resolving the legal and financial issues that arise during a divorce. This includes things like division of property, child timeshare arrangements, and spousal support. The goal of divorce mediation is to create a fair and equitable agreement that both parties can agree to and that meets the legal requirements for a divorce.
While family mediation can be used to address issues that arise during a divorce, divorce mediation is typically focused solely on the legal and financial aspects of a divorce. Additionally, divorce mediation may involve attorneys to provide legal guidance and advice, whereas, in family mediation it is very rare that an attorney would be involved.
Another difference between family mediation and divorce mediation is the level of conflict involved. While both types of mediation can be effective in resolving conflicts, divorce mediation typically involves more intense emotions and higher levels of conflict. This is because the issues being addressed in divorce mediation are often more contentious and can involve significant financial and emotional investments.
Family mediation can also be used for couples who are wishing to save their marriage but have exhausted the traditional therapy route and are looking for another option. As a mediator, we can use different tools than are routinely used in marriage counseling. We will focus on the here and now and a specified number of issues, rather than deep diving into past traumas or other deeper individual issues that may be making the marriage difficult. We will work through communication issues and plan for how to avoid misunderstandings, as well as help each partner gain a better perspective on the other partner’s viewpoint.
In conclusion, family mediation and divorce mediation are both valuable tools for resolving conflicts and coming to agreements. While there are some differences between the two, they both involve working with a mediator to create a safe and respectful space for communication and negotiation. As a professional family mediator in California, I am committed to helping families find peaceful and effective solutions to their conflicts, whether they involve divorce or other family issues. For more information, schedule a free consultation today!
by: Jennifer Segura