How can mediation help my family?
Mediation encourages respectful communication and joint efforts by the parties to create a common solution, rather than having a stranger in a black robe make an important decision that impacts your family. As a neutral third party mediator, I will listen to all points of view, examine documents you want me to review, and focus on each parties’ future goals, needs and interests. We work toward an amicable, mutually satisfactory agreement. I will also help you complete all the necessary court paperwork.
Statistics show that mediation creates better post-divorce relationships between spouses and better outcomes for children. When parents understand the importance of keeping their children out of the middle, while learning to communicate effectively, their children are protected from being “caught” in their parent’s conflict. As a mediator, I cannot give you “legal advice” and tell you what to decide, but I can give you “information” about the California statutes and case law, and talk about my court experiences regarding similar situations.
There is often a good chance of settling your case after having the opportunity to calmly communicate, so mediation is worth the effort. If you are not spending time in court, you save the cost of paying attorneys to argue at court (after perhaps waiting around at court for the judge to call your case.) Most hearings on temporary custody and temporary support are heard and decided by the judge in about 20 minutes. Using mediation can significantly reduce the amount you spend for your separation or divorce process. It’s still costly, but most often, less costly than litigation.
During the mediation process, you and your partner will discuss:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property and debts
- Spousal support (Cash flow needs of each party
- Attorney fees
- Other goals or interests that are important to you
If you cannot agree, you may have to proceed to court. Often you can at least resolve some of your issues in mediation, thereby reducing the issues you need to have the judge resolve for you. This obviously saves you money.
To learn more about mediation, contact our office at (707) 575-5162 to schedule a “initial mediation consultation.” If it turns out that the process is not going to work for you, at least you have become more informed for your future.