Ending a marriage is often viewed as an all-out battle in which each side fights to be the winner. In reality, most California couples know that fighting over every detail is not always smart, especially when the stakes are high. Mediation is a more collaborative approach that may be appropriate for those going through a high asset divorce.
As an alternative dispute resolution, mediation gives divorcing couples the opportunity to negotiate their own settlements and agreements. Couples who choose mediation typically have much greater control over the process than those who choose a more standard approach. If you and your soon-to-be ex are on roughly the same page about things and decided to divorce on relatively good terms, this process can also be quicker and cheaper.
Mediation requires that a neutral third party -- the mediator -- also take part in the process. He or she will facilitate the negotiations and make sure that everyone is bringing forth necessary information. A mediator's role will not be to make decisions for you, but he or she will make sure that everyone has the best possible information to make informed decisions.
A mediator is not a substitute for a lawyer. Although mediators are usually well-versed in California family law, their job is not to advocate for you. Even if you expect your divorce to be calm and choose mediation for your high asset divorce, it is a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can make sure that your rights are upheld throughout the entire process.