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Mediation

Hargreaves & Taylor offers mediation with a choice of either an individual attorney-mediator, or a team approach in which both an attorney and psychotherapist participate to bring couples past conflict to a position of agreement. If you are interested in the team approach to mediation, more information can be found here.

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is an alternative to the contested divorce traditionally handled in court. It is a private process in which trained professionals help a couple to negotiate the terms of their divorce.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediated divorces generally:

  • Are less traumatic
  • Require less time
  • Cost less than litigation
  • Are easier on children
  • Leave participants in control
  • Protect privacy

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:

  • Division of property and debts
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

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 does litigation.

No two couples are alike. Though each dissolution involves unique issues and problems, most require clarifying and resolution of the following:

  • Division of property and debts
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

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.

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 paying 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.

The 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 the court. Using the guidelines the mediators give to you, you are helped to formulate a fair agreement.

 

 

 
 
 

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