Dividing assets during a divorce can be a stressful and emotional experience, even for couples splitting up on amicable terms. Material and financial resources not only represent security for many, but they may also have value beyond their monetary worth. While splitting stocks and other investments is sometimes complex, dividing smaller items, such as family photos or mementos collected during travels, often creates the greatest conflicts.
California divorce law does not require mediation unless a divorce involves child custody disagreements. However, those going through a divorce may find that mediation helps prevent or resolve conflicts during the division of assets.
How mediation works during asset division
A mediator can help divorcing couples navigate the technical and emotional aspects of dividing property. During mediation, a qualified professional works with both individuals to alleviate tension. It is often easier to start the process by focusing on dividing the assets that pose the least challenge.
If a couple agrees on how to split properties or who gets the house, the mediator will start there. Taking care of the divisions that do not produce conflicts first can create a more amicable environment for dividing the emotionally charged assets.
How mediation and litigation differ
When a divorce settlement ends up in the courtroom, it often becomes a contentious battle between soon-to-be exes. The very idea of litigation can create animosity between divorcing couples. Mitigation can keep those seeking divorce out of the courtroom. A skilled mediator works to develop an atmosphere of trust that makes it easier to discuss and agree upon the division of disputed assets.
Though dividing assets during a divorce can be an emotionally trying exercise, it doesn’t have to create or deepen the divide in the relationship. Using a mediator may make the process smoother for both people involved.