Ending a marriage can be overwhelming, even when the separation is amicable. Divorce can impact every aspect of your life, especially if you have young children. Divorce mediation is one option to avoid a long, drawn-out court battle. Divorce mediation offers a welcome alternative to the adversarial process. Both spouses can speak with a neutral third party to work toward a resolution rather than hash their issues out during a formal court hearing. To learn more, contact the mediation lawyers in Davis, CA at Pakpour Banks LLP.
Our Davis divorce mediation lawyers provide collaborative legal services for couples seeking assistance with divorce, legal separation, property division, child custody, and more. Hiring a compassionate and skilled divorce mediation lawyer can help you determine the best resolution for your situation.
Basics of Divorce Mediation in California
Our Davis mediation attorneys will go over all the basics of divorce mediation with you to help decide whether this is a viable option for your situation. Divorce mediation differs from a litigated divorce in many ways. To start, you and your spouse will meet with a neutral mediator together. The meetings typically take place in person in an informal setting. It may also be possible to conduct some meetings online.
Unlike a judge, your mediator does not make any legal decisions. Instead, they serve as a neutral third party. Their job is to help you work through unresolved issues, such as child custody, spousal support, property division, and child support. If you and your spouse can compromise and reach an agreement, you remain in control of your circumstances, and you can get your divorce finalized in a much shorter period of time.
If there are issues you cannot agree on, a judge will decide those issues, for better or worse. You can both say what you want, but the judge could decide something that goes against both of your wishes. By contrast, divorce mediators help you both come to an agreement you both can live with.
Once you reach an agreement in mediation, the mediator will draft a divorce settlement agreement outlining the mutually agreed-upon terms. In some instances, the mediator will file the agreement with the court for you, or you can file it yourselves. Once the judge reviews the agreement and determines it’s a fair settlement, they will enter the final divorce decree.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation in Davis, CA
You’ll find there are multiple benefits to divorce mediation.
Saves You Money, Time, and Stress
Working with your spouse to resolve your issues at mediation will save you untold time, stress, and money. If you do not or cannot work together, you will have to pay your divorce lawyer to conduct discovery, prepare your case for trial, and take your case to trial. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars, suck up a year or more of your life, and cause you enormous stress.
With divorce mediation, you won’t need to stress over frequent court appearances, attorney meetings, or confrontational face-to-face time with your soon-to-be-ex. You could also have your divorce finalized in as little as two or three months. If you hire one of our excellent divorce mediators in Davis, CA, we can help facilitate the conversation and move you and your spouse towards a mutually beneficial compromise—while saving you thousands of dollars.
Protects Your Children
Protecting your minor children is one of the most critical factors in a divorce. A protracted divorce can impact their emotional and psychological health, especially when there’s significant conflict between the parents. An adversarial divorce can leave children with lasting emotional scars, which puts their future well-being at risk. No child should have to endure an ugly, high-conflict custody battle.
Divorce Mediation Is Confidential
When you litigate your divorce, hearings are open to the public, and events are recorded in your case file. What happens in the hearings also becomes a part of the public record. Anyone can go to the court and request records on your divorce. With divorce mediation, the proceedings are protected by state law. That means all your written and verbal communications will not become part of the court’s public records.
You Have More Control and Flexibility
You and your spouse control a divorce mediation rather than the court dictating what happens. That also means there’s more flexibility when it comes to resolutions. A judge will look at the evidence, hear statements, and then render their binding decision. You are stuck with this decision—even if neither of you is happy with the result. Divorce mediation allows you and your spouse to be more flexible in your discussions and final decisions.
When Is Divorce Mediation Not the Answer?
While divorce mediation works well for many couples, there are situations where you might be better off heading to court. Potential examples include the following.
- Domestic violence or child’s safety at risk: If you are the victim of domestic abuse, have gotten violent threats from your spouse, or fear for your children’s safety, divorce mediation may not be suitable for you.
- You suspect your spouse is hiding assets or untrustworthy: If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, lying, or wasting marital funds, then you might not benefit from mediation.
- Your spouse wants to delay the divorce: If your spouse has made it clear that they will do whatever is necessary to prolong the divorce, mediation may not be the answer. Your spouse could agree to mediation and then start stalling the process.
Before you decide mediation isn’t right for you, we recommend speaking with our attorneys first. Let one of our skilled lawyers review your case and provide you with the best legal advice on proceeding with a California divorce.
How to Get Started with Divorce Mediation in Davis
If you cannot agree to a custody plan before filing for divorce, a judge must order you to mediation to attempt to reach an agreement in California. Other than that, the mediation process is voluntary. After you and your spouse agree to resolve your divorce through a mediator, you should contact us to schedule a meeting. Not all family law attorneys are trained and skilled at divorce mediation. It’s crucial to find Davis divorce mediation lawyers who understand the process and will be impartial.
At Pakpour Banks LLP, our Davis divorce mediation attorneys have training and experience in conflict resolution. We know California law and will treat both spouses impartially and ethically. If you or your spouse speaks Spanish, we also have Spanish-speaking staff who can assist you. Some family law firms thrive on high-conflict divorces because it means additional billing hours. Our goal is not to further destroy families with an emotionally draining, litigated divorce. We founded Pakpour Banks LLP with the idea that reasonable solutions always exist. Let us help you find them.