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Divorce and Child Custody Mediation
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Mediation is a process used to resolve disputes. A mediator brings parties together to assist them in developing their own solution. It allows the parties to maintain control of their dispute and determine their own agreements. It often is a faster and less expensive way to address differences.

Mediators are neutral, unbiased third parties who facilitate negotiations. They have no interest in the outcome of the conflict.









  Divorce and Child Custody Mediation

Divorce mediation is a conflict medium. It finds spouses at their worst struggling for their self esteem and self worth as human beings. Their capacity for flexibility, compromise, and empathy is overridden by anger, fear, grief resentment and revenge.[1] The conflict often found in divorce range from psychological barriers, communication failure, theological differences, systemic confusion and substantive conflicts. We, as mediators, are called upon to diagnose the conflict and begin the process of resolving the dispute utilizing various strategies and tools at our disposal, be they conventional or non-conventional.

Child custody mediation is an outgrowth of a need to fully understand the best interest of a child involved in a child custody dispute. It is incumbent upon the mediator to guide the parents in accommodating their child’s needs and also be mindful of the parents needs, as well. The child needs to be recognized as an individual in their own right and not be a weapon of retaliation.

Despite the obvious fact that the divorcing couple is of opposite genders, up until now, little attention has been paid to the impact this gender difference can have on the outcome.  Gender is an unavoidable element in our society. Since the couple, as well as the mediator is gendered we, at Southern California Mediation Partners, believe the most effective form of mediation in marital dissolution and child custody is cross gender mediation.

Here are some of the reasons to mediate rather than litigate your marital case:  

(1) In the typical case the time it takes to come to a marital settlement agreement is shorter with the use of mediation.  Your mediation may take one or more sessions, but there is no waiting period or court calendar to take into consideration. You set your own schedule which is certainly one of the most significant benefits for many people.

(2) Divorce, through the court system, can be very costly.  The more court hearings and the longer the process takes, the more costly it becomes.  You have the control mediating your case since it does not have to go before a judge, other than execution of a court order for your marital settlement agreement.   The issues you choose to resolve are in your complete control, not the courts. 

(3) Mediation is totally protected, because your discussions are confidential and we, as mediators, are under confidentiality and immune from court subpoena. 

(4) A resolution arrived at through mediation is usually more acceptable to the husband and wife, because they are an integral part of creating solutions to their issues. 

(5) As mentioned above, marital settlement agreements reached through mediation can fairly reflect the unique aspects of your family and your culture. This can be particularly important for Families who have immigrated to the United States. 

(6) Relationships are often shattered by the adversarial nature of divorce court.  Mediation takes personal relationships into account, and can often help couples understand each other and work together to bridge a long-term relationship, which is a significant benefit for couples who have children they will need to parent for years to come.


[1] Saposnek, Donald T. Mediating Child Custody Disputes, Josey Bass, 1983


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