OC California Divorce Mediation Services
Family Court Services are usually offered by your local superior court of California. One of the services offered by Family Court Services is mediation, usually for divorce or child custody situations.
One major benefit of mediation through Family Court Services is that it doesn’t cost you anything unless you choose to hire an attorney for consults outside of mediation.
To find out if your local court offers mediation services, contact the court or your city hall.
What Does a California Divorce Mediator Do?
Divorce mediators are required to go through training in alternative dispute resolution. Usually, divorce mediators are also attorneys, judges, or mental health professionals or people who have retired from these professions.
A divorce mediator’s job is to facilitate a healthy discussion between you and your spouse or partner in order to help you work through the points of contention in your divorce settlement.
Why Should I Use Mediation to Resolve my Divorce in California?
Mediation provides numerous benefits to those who choose to use it over other ways of working through a divorce, like traditional litigation or even collaborative law.
Mediation Builds Communication and Preserves Relationships
Through mediation, couples are able to work on their communication skills and establish new methods of working through conflict. This is especially important for divorcing parents, because even after a divorce, they’ll need to parent their children together.
Although the mediator works to facilitate communication between the spouses or partners, it is ultimately up to the divorcing parties to make the effort and work through their issues.
Mediation Agreements are Realistic
Divorce settlements that result from mediation agreements are some of the most successful and most likely to be followed, simply because the divorcing spouses or partners who are obligated to follow the terms of these court orders are not simply doing what they are told - they created these terms themselves. Through creating your own divorce agreement, you are likely to understand the terms of that agreement fully, and there will be no surprises.
Mediation Can Lead to Faster Divorces
One of the more stressful and frustrating things about a divorce is that it takes a long time to be finalized. While there is a minimum of six months before a divorce that has been filed in California can be finalized, many divorces take much longer due to the need to wait for the court to be available, waiting for attorneys, and spiteful couples and lawyers throwing paperwork at one another.
Mediation allows a couple to get around most of these obstacles, face each other, and attempt to work out a compromise in a safe, private environment without the restrictions of attorneys and courtrooms. Nothing in mediation can become a court order without the approval of a judge, but getting one meeting with a judge takes much less time than several.
Divorce Mediation is Less Costly than Other Methods of Working Through Divorce
In most cases, mediation requires you to hire a divorce mediator. If your local superior court offers divorce mediation through the court family services, however, you may be able to get a divorce mediator at no cost to you.
Traditional litigation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution generally require that each party hires an attorney. Mediation, on the other hand, does not allow attorneys to be present during the mediation process. This saves both parties money on the cost of hiring a lawyer, which is ultimately one of the greatest costs of getting a divorce in California. If either party wants to hire an attorney for consultation outside of mediation, it is advised that they do so.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work in OC California?
If you and your spouse or partner decide that divorce mediation is the best way to work through your divorce, the first step is finding a divorce mediator. Ask at your city hall to see if your local superior court offers divorce mediation as one of its Family Court Services.
It is also advised that you hire an attorney that you can consult outside of mediation. Remember that a divorce mediator cannot provide either party with legal advice.
The first mediation meeting will consist of you, your spouse or partner, and your mediator discussing your goals for mediation. Generally, divorces involve the division of property and debts, spousal support determination, and child custody and child support determinations. You may choose to work through all or some of these issues in mediation. Following your first meeting, your mediator will likely have you both sign a mediation agreement.
Subsequent meetings may be between you and your mediator, your spouse or partner and the mediator, or all three parties. The mediator will keep conversations on topic and guide you towards creating a solution that works for you both.
A mediator may assign ‘homework’ assignments to you and/or your spouse or partner. This can be anything from thinking about how you would like to solve a particular issue to finding and bringing in certain paperwork to consulting a child custody professional or someone who can value certain property. The faster you and your spouse or partner can complete these assignments, the faster your divorce can move forward.
If you and your spouse decide to end the mediation process before you resolve all of your issues, you can choose to take some of those issues to court and let a judge decide for you.
If you have resolved all of the issues that you aimed to resolve in mediation, or if you have decided to stop mediation, your divorce mediator can draw up a mediation agreement. It is advised that both you and your spouse or partner take this agreement to an attorney outside of mediation prior to signing it.
Once you have both signed your mediation agreement, your divorce mediator can submit it to the judge. If the judge approves the mediation agreement, it can become your divorce settlement. A divorce cannot be finalized in California until at least six months from the date that the initial papers were served on the defendant and all issues have been worked out to the point that a divorce agreement has been approved by a judge.
Southern California Divorce Mediation Attorney
In Summary, California divorce mediation services are offered in many communities. If you are unsure whether divorce mediation services are offered in your community you may contact your city hall. The city hall will have information regarding the services available to you. In addition, you may also want to speak with family, friends, or coworkers to see if they have any referrals for Orange County divorce mediation attorneys. Referrals are beneficial because you are receiving the advice and opinion of someone you know well. Moreover, you can ask family or friends regarding the attorney's work ethic, and you will then know what to expect before you even obtain your initial legal consultation.
When conducting research regarding California divorce mediation services you will also want to browse attorneys on the internet. By browsing attorneys on the internet you are able to read reviews from previous or current clients. In addition, if you search for attorneys online you can view their website to find out what areas of law they practice, and how long they have been practicing law in California.
Prices of divorce mediation services may vary. It is important to figure out what your finances are and what you will be able to afford. When speaking with the attorney for the first time you will want to find out what the price range will be. Additionally, you will want to ask if there are any flexible payment plans or discounts available.
If you would like to take the next steps toward retaining a divorce attorney for mediation please schedule an initial consultation today. For additional information regarding family law and divorce mediation services please contact your local family law attorney's. Please call Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000 for your free initial consultation! We look forward to assisting you with your California divorce mediation matter.