In most cases, spouses work together in order to reach a settlement outside of court. When families start to contemplate divorce and separation, their first thought is typically to hire a divorce attorney and go to court. However there are certain ways to avoid the financial and emotional costs of court in a divorce.
A lot of people still think that going to family law court is the best way to divorce and resolve everything from spousal or child support to division of property to custody and visitation. The uncertainty of court, not surprisingly, adds to the fear that is a normal byproduct of separation, and can make settlement seem like an insurmountable task.

You can choose an attorney that is settlement-oriented and wants to help keep your costs down. Some questions you can ask an attorney to determine his/her ideology are:

-Does the lawyer provide any other choices apart from going to family court?
-What does the attorney know about mediation, divorce law and collaborative law?
-What other options are there aside from going to court?
-How can I keep the costs of my divorce reasonable?

Chances are, if you are divorcing or separating, you are scared and trying to figure out the first step to take. Should you select an attorney? How do you ensure the attorney does what is best for your family? Or could you forgo divorce lawyer services altogether? Where can families who are considering divorce and separation go to know more about their options?

In California, mediation and alternative dispute resolution are encouraged by the state. These processes allow you and your partner to take control of your own lives. They also encourage self-reliance and self-determination, instead of fostering dependency on the “professionals” a lot of people turn to once faced with separation-related choices. Mediation gives hope for both parties involved in the painful process of separation.

Mediation, relatively simply, puts the power to reach a decision or resolution with you. Mediation encourages a working relationship through opening the line of communication with the use of an unbiased third party. Beyond the laws and facts, underlying reasons for disagreements you and your partner are having might be talked about and resolved.

As the mediator aids you in understanding the interests of your partner and yourself as well, future challenges might be avoided. Involvement with the court system is small, and costs may be significantly reduced. In general, dispute resolution experts find that mediation could be an inexpensive, effective, quick way of resolving divorce and separation issues.