The Divorce Process Does Not Have to Scare You

The Divorce Process Does Not Have to Scare You
Marlo Van Oorschot, Esq.

The process of divorce may seem overwhelming, leaving you to wonder how things are ever resolved.  However, it is important to know that while many cases start off being litigated, approximately 98% of all divorces are resolved through settlement.

Litigation, a process whereby the issues surrounding the divorce will be decided by a judge, usually delays divorce, sometimes for several years.  A litigated divorce can also compromise privacy and deplete marital assets that could be divided between the parties or used to provide support to spouses or children. This approach only escalates conflict and increases attorney fees.

By choosing an alternative to litigation, such as mediation, you can emerge from your divorce with a desirable settlement, more money in your pocket, a fairly amicable relationship with your former spouse, a productive solution for your children, and a better sense of your own worth and value.

In mediation, the parties, with the help of a trained mediator, negotiate directly with each other to reach an agreement on all aspects of their separation. The mediator provides a setting and format where each person can fully describe his or her own point of view, as well as create relevant questions to help the parties through the process. Couples can negotiate and resolve issues such as the division of property, parenting arrangements, child support and spousal support. When an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a memo reflecting your agreements, which you may choose to bring to an attorney and/or submit the document directly to the Court for approval and to be ordered by a Judge.

The benefits of mediation include:

  • Mediation provides a structure at a time when communication is often difficult.
  • Parents learn to make the change from being conflicting spouses to cooperating individuals.
  • When compared to arrangements that are ordered by a Judge, agreements made in mediation are usually more workable and the parties are less likely to return to Court.
  • Mediation is often much less expensive than other processes of negotiation and resolution.

Marlo Van Oorschot, Esq. is a Family Law Attorney and Mediator in West Los Angeles.  Ms. Van Oorschot can be contacted at (310) 820-3414; or  For further information on litigation and mediation of a family law matter, please visit