Santa Barbara Divorce Mediation Lawyer
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigating an action in court with your spouse through attorneys. Instead of using the court and a judge to make decisions, parties who decide to use mediation work with a neutral third-party mediator to negotiate issues concerning child custody and support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts. Oftentimes the parties will also work with individual attorneys to ensure that they are fully informed of their legal rights to and process the necessary paperwork.
The mediator will help you to resolve issues through a process in which the mediator will:
- Identify the needs of each party and the children;
- Help gather information including financial information necessary to make decisions about the division of assets and support issues;
- Explore what each party wants and help explore various alternative solutions to resolve your concerns regarding the issues of custody, property division, support and all other issues of your divorce;
- Assist you and your spouse in reaching an agreement that both parties are satisfied with.
What are the benefits of Mediation?
- Mediation helps preserve a good relationship with your spouse and reducing the tension for the sake of the children.
- Spouses who mediate their divorce typically are better able to communicate and cooperate and to keep tensions down for the sake of the children.
- The mediation experience builds a base for future cooperation between the parties and teaches you how to resolve issues in a cooperative manner.
- Typically the parties are more satisfied by having arrived at their own “solutions” to the problems as opposed to having a judge make the decisions.
- The parties’ children typically benefit from such a collaborative approach.
Oftentimes Less Costly
- Typically mediation is significantly less expensive than a litigated divorce.
- If the case goes to court, the cost may be three times as high — or more.
- Mediation is less expensive than paying two lawyers to “fight” for each spouse.
Oftentimes Less Time Consuming
- Mediated divorce cases typically take considerably less time than a litigated divorce. However, the parties must still wait the required six (6) months before a divorce can be final.
Greater Overall Satisfaction
- In Mediation the parties are assisted by a mediator to reach an agreement developed by the spouses themselves, not one imposed by a judge or the court system.
- Typically those spouses who mediate their own settlement are much more satisfied with their divorce.
- In addition, children of mediated divorces may adjust better to the divorce of their parents than children of litigated divorces.
Areas of Mediation
The mediator will typically mediate the following issues:
- Child Custody and parenting plan
- Support including:
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Family Support
- Property division
Tips for Going Through Santa Barbara Divorce Mediation
Agreeing to see a divorce mediator does not mean that you will automatically agree on everything and find a quick resolution. In fact, you and your spouse will likely have very different ideas about what is fair and what is not. Here are some crucial tips to help you get the most out of your mediation sessions:
- Do your homework. Before you go into mediation, it is important that you clearly understand your financial situation. This means gathering all the documentation you will need to support your position, such as tax returns, bank statements, and credit card bills.
- Stay focused on the issues at hand. It is easy to get sidetracked during mediation, but it is important to stay focused on the issues that need to be resolved. If you find that you are getting emotional, take a break and come back to the mediation table when you are ready. It will not do either of you any good to try to resolve your differences when you are not in the right frame of mind.
- Be prepared to compromise. To reach an agreement, you and your spouse will need to be willing to compromise. This may mean giving them something they want to receive that’s important to you. This is a common occurrence in mediation, and it is one of the reasons why it often results in a more equitable settlement than a court-ordered divorce.
- Be patient. Divorce mediation is a process that will likely take time to reach an agreement. Do not expect to resolve everything in one or two sessions. Allow yourself and your spouse the time to discuss the issues and develop a solution that works for both of you.
- Keep an open mind. If you go into mediation with the mindset that your spouse is going to cheat you, you are likely to be disappointed. The same is true if you go in with the mindset that you are going to get everything you want. Keep an open mind, and be willing to listen to your spouse’s ideas. You may be surprised at what you are able to achieve if you are willing to compromise.
Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation
When it comes to deciding whether to mediate your divorce, it is important to understand the difference between mediation and litigation. Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse work with a neutral third party, called a mediator, to resolve your differences and disputes. Litigation is the process of taking your divorce to court with a family law specialist, where a judge will decide the outcome.
There are several key differences between mediation and litigation:
- Mediation is typically faster and less expensive than litigation.
- Mediation is less adversarial than litigation. This means that you and your spouse are more likely to be able to resolve your differences peacefully.
- Mediation is confidential, while litigation is public.
- In family court mediation, you and your spouse have more control over the outcome of your divorce, while in litigation, the judge will make all the decisions.
- Mediation allows you to tailor the outcome to meet your specific needs, while litigation is more rigid.
If you are considering divorce, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of mediation vs. litigation. Both mediation and litigation have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand what each process entails before deciding. If you are unsure which process is right for you, consult with an experienced California family law attorney to find clarity.
If you feel that you may have a potential case pertaining to family law matters, please call (805) 879-7523 or click here to email us and have an attorney contact you about your case.
Contact Divorce Lawyer Santa Barbara County
No one enters a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, and marital dissolution is often a difficult and emotionally grueling process. We’re here to help! If you are in need of assistance with your divorce contact an experienced Santa Barbara divorce attorney at Drury Pullen Law today for consultation. Call (805) 879-7523 or email us.