Southern California Divorce Mediators
OC Southern California Divorce Mediators: In Southern California, one of your options when it comes to working out the terms of your divorce is working with a divorce mediator. A divorce mediator is trained in the process of mediation, which is usually a faster and less costly alternative to traditional litigation for settling a divorce.
Divorce mediators allow you and your spouse or partner to work through your divorce and to create a mediation agreement that could ultimately be used as a divorce settlement. There are alternatives to mediation if you choose not to work with a divorce mediator: you can settle your divorce outside of court on your own, you can use collaborative law, or you can settle your divorce in court through traditional litigation.
Each of these options has different benefits, and it is important to choose the one that works best for you. A qualified divorce lawyer can help you decide which is best for you in a consultation. If you do choose to use mediation, you may even choose to retain an attorney who has also been trained in mediation to be your divorce mediator. That way, even if you cannot get legal advice from your mediator, you know that your mediator also has knowledge of California divorce law and the local legal system.
What Does a Mediator Do in Divorce Mediation?
If you choose to use divorce mediation to settle your divorce in California, your divorce mediator will already have special training in divorce mediation. The mediator’s job is to remain neutral while facilitating a healthy discussion between the divorcing parties.
At the beginning of mediation, the mediator will ask you and your spouse or partner what your goals for mediation will be. The mediator will work to keep you both on track and focused, and suggest actions that may move the discussion toward a productive end.
A mediator may also have a background in law, therapy, psychology, or another mental health profession. Depending on the attorney you choose, he or she may use various tactics to encourage you and your spouse or partner to work together and discuss your issues in a positive and productive manner.
This may include separate meetings with each of you as well as meetings with both of you together. It may also include ‘homework assignments’ from consulting a professional regarding finances, valuation, child custody, child support, or something else, to thinking about a specific issue or discussing it with your divorce attorney outside of mediation and deciding what you want and where you are willing to compromise.
How Does a Mediator Direct Divorce Mediation in OC California?
Try asking a divorce attorney for suggestions - often mediators are also judges, lawyers, or mental health professionals, or those who have retired from these professions. Consider the pros and cons of a divorce mediator who has also worked in one of these fields, and the needs of you and your spouse or partner. Remember that your mediator may have a legal background or be an attorney, but he or she is not legally allowed to provide you with any legal advice. It is in your best interests to retain a separate divorce attorney outside of mediation, with whom you can consult prior to signing any mediation agreements. Even if you and your spouse each have to hire separate attorneys in addition to a mediator, you will still probably spend less time with all three professionals combined than you would spend with each individual attorney had you chosen to litigate your divorce.
Schedule your first meeting with your divorce mediator. Make sure to do this at a time and place that is convenient for you, your spouse or partner and your mediator. Because you are meeting outside of the court, you can choose your own location and schedule.
The first meeting with the mediator will likely include an explanation of the process, and a discussion about each of your goals for mediation. The mediator should draw up a document that states what the goals of mediation may be and have each party sign it. Make sure you have a copy of the document.
Subsequent meetings with your mediator will work through the list that you created in your first meeting. For the most part, both you and your spouse or partner should be present for all meetings. However, if your mediator wants to get an idea of what you or your spouse or partner wants out of mediation and cannot get through with all parties present, the mediator may meet with either party separately from the other party.
When it comes to child custody, your mediator may request that you consult a professional, especially if it is difficult to come to an agreement with your spouse or partner. Try to remember that mediation is one of the best ways to handle child custody, because it keeps the child out of the courtroom and away from the stress of the divorce.
The number of appointments and the length of time that it takes to complete mediation is up to you and your spouse, and how quickly you come to an agreement. Ultimately, the goal is to create an agreement and build your communication skills.
When you have an agreement, both parties should have separate divorce lawyers review the document prior to signing it. The mediator can then create a document to submit to the judge for approval, and the divorce settlement can be created.
If you cannot come to an agreement on all areas, you may choose to use litigation for the unsolved issues following mediation. Remember that anything that was said in mediation is 100 percent confidential, and the mediator cannot be called as a witness in any following court cases regarding your divorce.
Learn more about California Divorce Mediators
In summary, if you are considering mediation you will want to research Southern California Divorce Mediators. The best way to research the top Southern California divorce mediators is by speaking with family members, friends, or coworkers. It is helpful to use referrals so you can find out which attorney's they liked, or which ones they would recommend, and for what reasons.
If you do not have someone who you can speak to regarding divorce you may also research the best divorce lawyers in your area. Often times it is helpful to research online to help narrow your search to the top few attorneys in Orange County. Once you have narrowed your search you may make the initial contact and speak briefly with the top attorneys you located. After speaking over the phone you will be able to decide which attorney's you would like to schedule an in person consultation with.
Mediation involves a neutral third party mediator. The mediator should not be someone who knows either of the parties. It is important for both parties to feel that they are being treated fairly. In addition, the mediation sessions are voluntary meaning that both parties must willingly agree to attend. The voluntary nature of these sessions is often appealing to the parties.
If you would like to take the next steps toward retaining a family law attorney please call for your free initial consultation. For additional information regarding family law or Southern California divorce mediators please contact your local family law attorney's. Please call Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000 to schedule your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you with you family law divorce mediation matter.