What Is My Recourse If I Am Unhappy With Mediation Results?

When a couple enters divorce mediation in Fresno as a process for marriage dissolution (with assistance from each respective attorney), this says that both parties are willing to try ending the union in a more cooperative, less litigious manner. Mediation can be defined as a way for both parties to resolve disputes and find mutual understanding without having the solution imposed on them by a judge.

By its nature, mediation is flexible and open to creativity. For example, joint custody may involve parents living in different geographical areas of the country but both parents telecommute to their jobs. Instead of having the children shuttle between those parents, it is entirely worth discussing how the parents can do the traveling at least part of the time. Mediation can also involve some private, “caucus” meetings between the mediator and one party, then a subsequent meeting with the other party, should a group meeting prove unwieldy for the point being discussed.

In California, family law code 3170(a) states that any disagreement over custody and visitation for children and parents automatically gets referred to mediation. But if that mandatory mediation fails, the case is referred back to the judge for his or her decision.

Mediation Sometimes Fails

It is an unfortunate fact that mediation sometimes fails. This may be for several reasons:

  • The mediator determines the parties are not reaching agreement.
  • The mediator discovers there has not been full and fair disclosure.
  • One party is unwilling or unable to participate in the process.
  • The mediator believes the agreement overreaches, is unfair or may cause duress on one or both parties.
  • The mediator may have a conflict of interest.

In all but the last scenario (conflict of interest on the part of the mediator), a failure to reach a fair agreement simply elevates the divorce from mediation to litigation. Clearly, there are incentives to reach conflict resolution before it gets to that point.

Contact Fresno divorce mediator Jennifer S. Morrison at 559-225-4300 to discuss resolution of your family law issues.  We look forward to serving you.

By its nature, mediation is flexible and open to creativity. When a couple enters divorce mediation in Fresno as a process for marriage dissolution (with assistance from each respective attorney), this says that both parties are willing to try ending the union in a more cooperative, less litigious manner.

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  • What Is My Recourse If I Am Unhappy With Mediation Results?
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