Divorce Mediation Orange County California
Not all divorce and family law cases involve bitter custody disputes or “all out” war between the spouses. Many cases are moderately or lightly contested and the main points of contention can be worked out between the parties themselves with the assistance of a trained family law mediator. For such cases, if the parties are both agreeable, they may meet with a family law mediator to “iron out” the terms of a marital settlement agreement to be used for inclusion with their judgment.
Mediation – A Cost Effective Divorce Solution
The high cost of divorce can be seen generally as a function of the degree of litigation involved with the divorce. Numerous orders to show cause (now called “Requests for Orders”), extensive discovery requests and discovery motions, depositions, etc., all culminating in an epic divorce trial come at a heavy cost, not only in terms of actual money spent, but also in terms of the emotional price paid by the parties themselves and their children to wage such a war. Mediation, one of the methods of alternative dispute resolution, can empower the parties to find workable solutions to the issues in their divorce and to avoid costly litigation. Communication is the key to negotiation, and with the help of a trained family law mediator like Derrick Taberski, the parties may be able to quickly resolve their divorce issues for a fraction of the cost of a litigated divorce.
The Divorce Mediation Process
The divorce mediation process involves the parties’ meeting generally 2 to 3 times with their divorce mediator. Typically during the first mediation session the parties discuss custody and visitation issues, and their mediator will provide the financial disclosures with some general guidelines about how to fill them out. Between the first and second sessions, the parties prepare and exchange their financial disclosures with the mediator’s assistance. During the second mediation session, the parties focus on support and resolving issues related to the division of community property, debts, and support issues. If issues remain unresolved the parties schedule additional sessions. The number of mediation sessions in divorces with complex or unusual issues can vary, and often take 3 or more sessions. Most often the parties’ marital settlement agreement can be finalized in as little as two to three sessions. Once the marital settlement agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare the judgment packet for the parties to review and sign and then submit the documents to the court.
The mediation office will assist the parties with preparing their financial disclosures, which should happen before property and support issues are discussed.
Please contact our office to discuss your options for a mediated divorce.