Experienced Family Law Attorneys
San Diego Divorce Mediation Lawyers
Mediation Services for Clients in San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, & Carlsbad, CA
Divorce is commonly one of the most difficult processes you will ever have to engage in during your lifetime. Emotions can run high and disagreements easily arise over the issues you must resolve. Going through a lengthy legal battle only compounds the problems of broken communication, rising stress, and antagonism.
Divorce mediation provides a better route for couples who can commit to a process of working for the good of the entire family as opposed to against one another. Instead of fault-finding, it focuses on common ground. At Hargreaves & Taylor LLP, we offer mediation with a choice of either an individual attorney-mediator or a team approach in which both an attorney and psychotherapist participate to bring you and the other party past conflict to a position of agreement.
Divorce mediation is an alternative to the contested divorce traditionally handled in court. It is a private process in which trained professionals help you and your partner negotiate the terms of your divorce.
What Are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediated divorces generally:
- Protect privacy
- Are less traumatic
- Require less time
- Cost less than litigation
- Are easier on children
- Leave participants in control
What Happens During Mediation?
No two couples are alike. Though each dissolution involves unique issues and problems, most require clarifying and resolution of the following:
Typically, several sessions are held in which the participants negotiate an agreement with direct and specific guidance from the mediators. The mediators provide information, help develop options, field the emotions that arise, facilitate communication, and empower both parties to reach their goals. When issues are resolved and the terms are agreed upon, the mediators will draft a “Marital Settlement Agreement.”
The Agreement can then be submitted to a court along with other legal documents necessary for the dissolution of the marriage. Though no court appearances are required for the participants, the mediated agreement can become a valid and legally binding order of the court. The entry of the Judgment of Dissolution in the court records marks the last step in the divorce mediation process.
What Is the Cost of Mediation?
The cost of negotiating an agreement and preparing the necessary legal documents depends upon you and the complexity of the issues you bring to the mediation setting. Generally, mediation is far less expensive, involves fewer people, and entails less time than litigation.
Can Your Divorce Be Mediated?
Divorce is a time of crisis and turmoil. However, as long as both you and your spouse desire a resolution of the legal issues, mediation can work for you. During the first session, the mediators will answer your questions and help you outline a plan for an agreement.
Many people believe the myth that hiring a tough divorce lawyer and “fighting it out” will result in a better settlement. The truth is that California law requires an equal division of the community assets. Support must be reasonably based upon the needs of the party asking for support and the ability of the party obligated to pay support.
If a couple goes to court and allows the court to decide how their property is to be divided and what support is to be paid, both parties are frequently unhappy with the result. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control and decide what is workable for them.
Mediators are a valuable resource. They know how the court system works and what the likely outcome of a property or support dispute will be if it is submitted to a judge. Using the guidelines the mediators provide helps you formulate a fair agreement.
Hargreaves & Taylor LLP also provides team mediation through The Quinn/Hargreaves Mediation Center. This type of mediation uses trained mediators working together as co-mediators to help you resolve your issues.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a San Diego divorce mediation attorney.