Divorce Mediation in Orange County

The family law experts at Irwin & Irwin have years of experience in mediating divorces. Contact us today at (714) 222-3992 to schedule a consultation.
The terms of your divorce will set the course for your future and will directly affect your parental and financial rights, but the divorce itself does not have to land in court. There are less intrusive and less dramatic alternatives, and mediation is a prime example. If you are facing a divorce, Orange County divorce mediation may be a viable option, and an experienced Orange County divorce mediation attorney can help you make that happen.

Mediation involves both spouses, along with their respective mediation attorneys, coming together to hammer out the unresolved terms of their divorce via a structured process that is far less formal than going to court. Mediation basics include:

  • A professional mediator – serving as a professional mediator – guides the mediation process.
  • The mediator helps both sides better understand how the court will likely rule if the case proceeds to court, carefully consider their best options, and explore compromises that they may not yet have considered.
  • The mediator goes back and forth between both spouses, sharing the other side’s position on the point being considered.
  • Whatever is resolved in mediation becomes legally binding once both sides sign the resulting agreement.
When both parties are committed to the process and are willing to make compromises – that are in keeping with their legal rights – mediation can be an extremely useful tool.

Benefits of Mediation in Divorce

The advantages of mediation over proceeding to court to resolve the terms of your divorce are difficult to overstate. Carefully consider all the following:

Time and Expense

Mediation is generally a less time-consuming and less costly process than going to court. There is considerably less legal prep that needs to be done, and the scheduling won’t be dependent on the court’s clogged docket


Mediation is far more private than litigating your divorce in court will be. With mediation, everything but your final divorce decree happens outside of court, which makes it a private matter. The same is not true of court proceedings.


Before you turn to the court to resolve the terms of your divorce for which you remain at odds, you and your spouse retain control regarding the decisions that need to be made. Giving up this control and looking to the court to make primary decisions that directly affect your future, including decisions about the following, isn’t something many people look forward to:
  • child custody
  • child support
  • the division of community property
  • spousal support
Orange County divorce mediation provides you with an opportunity to negotiate terms between yourselves in a structured environment that includes the guidance of a professional mediator and your respective mediation attorneys. The threat of ceding control over the outcome of one’s divorce can motivate divorcing spouses to dig deeper in relation to compromise.

Current and Ongoing Communication

By agreeing to mediation, both spouses agree to keep the lines of communication open – to at least some degree – which can set the tone for future communications. When spouses take a hardline adversarial approach that guides them to court, it tends to spill over into their post-divorce relationship, which can make effective co-parenting far more challenging. If you and your divorcing spouse share children, the need to communicate with one another moving forward is a given, and if your ability to do so is severely limited, it can take a toll on everyone, including your children. Mediation can help you find a better path forward.

Your Children

It’s important to take a moment and consider your children. As difficult as your divorce is for you, it’s even harder on them, which makes doing everything you can to help reduce the pressure worth considering. The less contentious your divorce, the less painful it will be for your children. Of course, you should still pay attention to your legal rights or pursue fair terms, but if your divorce can be fairly resolved through mediation, it can help lighten your children’s load.

A Collaborative Divorce Is Possible

While every divorcing couple faces its own unique challenges, the process does not have to be contentious. Negotiating terms between yourselves in a collaborative approach is possible, and it can benefit you, your divorcing spouse, and your children. The crux of a more collaborative approach is focusing clearly on the terms of the divorce, understanding the implications of potential resolutions, and carving out compromises that both parties are willing to accept – and you don’t have to be in perfect harmony with your soon-to-be ex to collaborate successfully.
In fact, even if any – or all – of the following apply, mediation is not out of the question:
  • You face classic divorce complications, such as high assets, complicated assets, or business ownership.
  • Your relationship is high-conflict in general.
  • You and your spouse find it next to impossible to be in the same room with one another.
  • Your spouse has a far clearer understanding of your family’s finances than you do.
  • You and your spouse are very far apart regarding child custody arrangements.
  • You don’t trust your spouse to be transparent about finances or to be fair overall.
  • Your spouse is manipulative and is capable of dominating you.
Addressing and overcoming obstacles like these is what having a seasoned Orange County divorce mediation attorney in your corner is all about.

Understanding the Divorce Mediation Process

The basics when it comes to the divorce mediation process include:
  • hiring a practiced Orange County divorce mediation attorney
  • compiling the necessary documentation
  • clarifying your divorce priorities to afford yourself more leverage in relation to negotiations
  • preparing to negotiate terms that support your rights while remaining open to fair compromises
  • scheduling mediation
  • proceeding to mediation, where the professional mediator will guide both sides through the back and forth necessary to find workable solutions that both of you deem acceptable
  • executing the agreement and finalizing your divorce
Orange County divorce mediation may have more to offer in terms of resolving your divorce outside of court than you realize.

An Experienced California Divorce Mediation Attorney Can Help

If you are facing a divorce and would like to resolve the matter outside of court, it’s important to recognize that your divorce doesn’t have to be perfectly amicable or completely straightforward in order for Orange County divorce mediation to help. Mediation can help you expedite the divorce process, help you save on legal costs, help you and your divorcing spouse remain in control of your case’s outcome and help keep the matter out of court. Reach out to a trusted Orange County divorce mediation attorney to determine if mediation is a good option for you.


The answers to some of the questions people who are facing divorce ask most frequently about mediation may answer some of your own questions.
How much does divorce mediation cost in California?
Generally, professional mediators charge by the hours, and how long mediation will take in your case will hinge on how many terms you need to resolve and the level of complexity involved. There are also filing fees to consider, and additional professionals may need to be hired. Examples include forensic accountants, financial analysts, tax professionals, and beyond. The cost of medication varies considerably in relation to how complex the case is and how far apart on the issues the participants are. Generally, however, it is far less costly to resolve a divorce through mediation than it is to do so in court.
What is the downside to divorce mediation?
While mediation has plenty to recommend it, it’s not always a great option. If any of the following apply, heading straight to court rather than detouring through mediation is likely preferable:
  • Your spouse has made it clear that they are not interested in compromising and will accept nothing less than the terms they’ve outlined.
  • Your spouse is more interested in stirring up drama and thwarting your efforts than in resolving the terms of your divorce.
  • Your spouse is very aggressive, and you are intimidated by them.
  • You have reason to believe – or you strongly suspect – that your spouse is hiding assets
  • or engaging in any other form of financial fraud.
Do both parties pay for mediation?
Generally, the cost of divorce mediation comes out of the couple’s community property, which means that – in essence – both spouses share the cost. Sharing the cost helps to ensure that both sides are invested in the outcome.
How long does a mediation divorce take in California?
Typically, preparing for and following through with mediation takes about three to four months. Ensuring that you have done your homework and that your documentation is in order is critical to protecting your financial rights, which makes it important not to rush mediation. When both spouses are invested in the process, however, and both are committed to cooperating with one another to put the divorce behind them, mediation can be less time-consuming.