Divorce Mediation Attorneys in Orange County California
How does divorce mediation work in California: In any divorce, the terms of the divorce agreement need to be determined prior to finalizing the decree. Divorce mediation in California is an alternative approach to solving these issues that come up during a divorce. Rather than going through litigation and allowing a judge to set the terms of your divorce agreement regarding the division of property and debts, spousal support, child support and child custody, mediation lets the divorcing couple set these terms.
This post is intended to give you a basic overview of divorce mediation, and answer a few questions that you may have about it. Remember that nothing you find online can replace legal advice from a qualified professional. If you are about to start a divorce, or if you’re currently going through one, make sure that you have discussed your specific situation with a qualified Southern California divorce attorney.
FAQ: How does divorce mediation work in California
Mediation is a safe, private space where two spouses or registered domestic partners sit down with a neutral, third party mediator, who has received training in alternative dispute resolution, to work through the issues in the divorce or legal separation. These issues can be determined by the divorcing or separating couple, but usually include some of the following:
• Division of assets,
• Division of debts,
• Child support,
• Child custody,
• Spousal or partner support.
The mediator’s job is to facilitate a healthy discussion between the two parties, so that they can come to terms on the divorce agreement. The mediator cannot provide legal advice to either party, and neither party can have legal representation present at mediation, although either party can consult an attorney outside of mediation meetings. (It is encouraged that both parties do so.) A mediator can be an attorney, lawyer, judge, or mental health professional, which may help the mediator to better facilitate a productive discussion.
If the parties do come to an agreement on their divorce settlement, they can sign a mediation agreement and submit it to the judge for approval. If the judge agrees, the mediation agreement can set the terms of the divorce. If no agreement can be found between the parties through mediation, the issues that remain can be determined by a judge.
Anything that is said in mediation is confidential, and the mediator cannot be called to the stand as a witness if the divorce does end up going to trial.
Can I Have Professional Advice During Divorce Mediation?
During the mediation meetings, neither party can have an attorney present. However, either or both parties are encouraged to meet with separate attorneys outside of mediation, especially before signing a mediation agreement to submit to the judge for approval as a divorce agreement.
In some cases, the mediator may recommend that the spouses or partners consult with professionals during the mediation proceedings. This usually happens during the process of dividing debts and assets, especially if the debts are high or the assets are valuable, or if there are many assets in many places. A professional accountant can help with banking, or a professional appraiser can help value a home.
Child custody specialists may also assist when determining the best child custody and visitation schedule for any children who may be involved in the marriage or partnership.
Will Divorce Mediation Work for My California Divorce?
Divorce mediation requires both spouses or partners to participate. If your partner or spouse does not wish to partake, mediation is probably not a viable option for your divorce.
If you and your partner or spouse have a history of domestic violence, mediation can be risky and is usually not advised. If you wish to move forward with divorce mediation, always make sure to speak with a qualified Orange County divorce attorney first.
If you and your spouse already have great communication skills, divorce mediation may be easier for you! If you and your spouse both wish to work on your communication skills, divorce mediation is an excellent opportunity to do so. Especially for those families that have children, divorce mediation can allow the couple to develop communication skills that can help them work as a family after the divorce as well.
Parents with custody conflicts may choose divorce mediation due to the privacy it offers the family. Mediation keeps the children out of the courtroom, off the stand, and farther from the conflict of divorce.
Why Should I Use Divorce Mediation Instead of Litigation?
Mediation is usually more effective than litigation. In divorce mediation, the couple discusses each issue prior to coming to an agreement, rather than just presenting their opinion, and allowing a judge to make the final decision. Both couples are more likely to be happier with the outcome, and are more likely to follow the terms of a divorce agreement when the terms were determined through mediation rather than litigation.
Mediation typically costs less than litigated divorce, and moves faster. Mediation does not allow for an attorney to fully represent either party, which lowers the cost of the divorce immensely, even if both parties consult attorneys outside of mediation. Most couples also come to mediation ready to work through issues and communicate with each other, which is not usually the case in a litigated divorce. This attitude allows the process to move much quicker than arguing in litigation, as does the fact that mediation allows for a flexible location and time for each meeting.
How do I Find a Divorce Mediator in Orange County?
Usually, if you’re looking for a divorce mediator, an attorney who has also received training as a mediator can be your best option. If you already have a divorce attorney, he or she may be able to recommend another attorney at another practice who has the skills needed to be a mediator for your divorce.
Ask your mediator about his or her training, experience, and the approximate length of time and cost that they estimate will be necessary to complete your divorce prior to hiring him or her.
Yanez & Associates Divorce Attorneys & Divorce Mediators
If you are considering divorce mediation for your divorce, contact Yanez & Associates today to schedule your free initial consultation. Our attorneys are experienced in both divorce litigation and divorce mediation.
Table of Contents
- 1 Divorce Mediation Attorneys in Orange County California
- 2 FAQ: How does divorce mediation work in California
- 3 Can I Have Professional Advice During Divorce Mediation?
- 4 Will Divorce Mediation Work for My California Divorce?
- 5 Why Should I Use Divorce Mediation Instead of Litigation?
- 6 How do I Find a Divorce Mediator in Orange County?