Divorce mediation is an excellent alternative to litigated family law proceedings. Couples can handle their disagreements in private and reach their own settlements on matters involving property division, child custody and support.
However, there is frequently an assumption that mediation is only a viable option in cases that already have low levels of conflict. People who can’t communicate civilly with one another or even be in the same room without experiencing an intense emotional reaction aren’t likely to successfully negotiate in a face-to-face setting.
Still, mediation can still be possible even in very high-conflict divorces through the use of shuttle mediation services. Those who want to keep their divorce private or retain control over certain parts of the process may want to attempt shuttle mediation as opposed to leaving their fate in the hands of a judge.
What is shuttle mediation?
The concept of shuttle mediation is relatively simple. The professional mediator meets with both parties and shuttles back and forth between different rooms in a neutral setting or possibly different environments entirely. By keeping the spouses completely separate, the process significantly reduces the amount of conflict that occurs.
Research has found that shuttle mediation is even a viable option in cases involving domestic violence, which are notoriously difficult for the courts to handle appropriately. For those who would like to retain control over their divorce proceedings but who worry that they won’t be able to remain calm and rational in a sit-down mediation session with their spouse, shuttle mediation could be the right solution.
Conflict does not need to lead to an unfair divorce outcome
Frequently, high-conflict divorces escalate into litigated proceedings where spouses air their dirty laundry in court and aim for specific terms that judges are unlikely to grant. When neither spouse will compromise, both spouses lose. If one spouse gives in to the pressure of the other, then the resolution to the situation will likely be unfair.
Shuttle mediation is one of several options for those who don’t want to give up on securing a fair outcome in their divorce but who still hope to minimize the conflict they have to experience. Considering every option possible when preparing for a California divorce can benefit those who are ready to move on with their life.