Did you know that divorce does not necessarily have to be a battleground where two people fight out their differences in a courtroom? As a family law attorney at the Law Office of Cherish Om, I can help you achieve your objectives in a less adversarial and confrontational way with minimum stress and upheaval to you and your family. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Family disputes and conflicts can be emotionally draining and create significant tension among family members. The adversarial nature of traditional litigation in family law matters often exacerbates the tensions between soon-to-be-ex-spouses or partners and can cause significant damage to the parties’ emotional well-being.
Fortunately, it does not always have to be this way. That is why an increasing number of divorcing couples are choosing to pursue mediation as an alternative to traditional litigation. In family law matters, couples are more likely to achieve favorable and forward-looking resolutions of disputes with the assistance of mediation attorneys.
As a family law mediation lawyer at the Law Office of Cherish Om, I understand how emotionally and financially draining disputes between spouses and partners can be. Mediation can be a useful and cost-effective tool in a divorce or separation by helping two parties negotiate an agreement on their own terms and find common ground in matters related to child custody, property division, spousal support, and child support.
If you need top-tier legal advice, reach out to my office today. I have years of experience helping clients mediate disputes and arrive at fair, balanced, and respectful resolutions. With me by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your legal rights are protected throughout the mediation process.
Mediation is a voluntary process guided by a third party called the “mediator.” According to the official website of the Superior Court of California in the County of Orange, mediators cannot be biased toward any party nor can they make decisions for the parties. Mediators are neutral parties whose job is to facilitate communication between the parties involved and help them reach an amicable settlement agreement. In family law, mediation focuses on addressing topics of contention, such as spousal support, child custody, child support, division of assets, or others.
How Does Mediation Work in California?
The mediation process in California is typically comprised of the following steps:
- Choosing a mediator. The first step is to choose the mediator who would help the parties work things out. Once the parties have decided on the mediator, a mediation session will be booked.
- Attending mediation. During mediation sessions, mediators must ensure a safe and fair environment for all parties involved to allow them to express their concerns and opinions.
- Discussing the issues. The mediator will usually discuss the issues with each party separately to understand their perspectives and be able to find a middle ground.
- Finding a solution. After hearing all sides, the mediator helps facilitate an agreement between the parties and work toward a mutually acceptable solution.
- Reaching an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, it has to be put in writing.
- Seeking court approval. According to the California Department of General Services, a settlement agreement arising from mediation becomes a binding contract once all parties sign it. However, some cases may require court approval to be legally binding.
The mediation process opens the lines of communication between the parties and empowers them to make their own decisions. By contrast, in traditional litigation, the parties have no control over what a judge might decide.
The Benefits Of Mediation
When the parties opt for an alternative dispute resolution such as family law mediation, they can enjoy the following benefits:
- Cost-effective. Compared to going to court, obtaining mediation services is often less expensive.
- Confidential. While litigating family law matters in court is not a private process, mediation sessions remain confidential.
- Faster. Typically, resolving family law disputes through mediation is a faster process than going to court.
- Customizable. The mediation process allows for greater flexibility and customization.
- Less adversarial. Mediation fosters a non-confrontational atmosphere and gives the parties an opportunity to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.
When in doubt about whether mediation is a viable option for you, family mediation attorneys can help you decide on your best course of action.
Family Law Mediation Lawyer FAQ
The FAQ section below aims to answer some of the common questions that I—as a family law mediation lawyer—often receive regarding various aspects of mediation.
- What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps the parties find common ground and achieve a workable settlement.
- Is mediation mandatory in California?
In California, mediation is mandatory in any divorce or separation case that goes to court when there is a need for determining child custody.
- How to file for mediation in California?
To start mediation, the parties need to file a Request for Mediation. Pursuant to California Rules of Court Rule 3.896, the first mediation session must be held within 60 days after the filing of the petition. The period may be extended for up to 30 days if good cause is shown.
- How to prepare for divorce mediation?
If you have never attended a mediation session before or it happened a long time ago, the court may refer you to mediation orientation before your first mediation session, according to the official website of The Judicial Branch of California. Once your mediation session is scheduled, some of the tips to help you prepare include: choosing the appropriate attire ahead of time, arriving to your session well-rested, bringing the documentation needed to support your arguments, hiring an attorney, and being on time for the session.
- Is mediation right for you?
Virtually any family law matter may be resolved through mediation, though it may not be appropriate or effective in all cases. Generally, as long as you and the other party can sit down together and have a productive conversation about the possible ways to resolve the dispute at hand, medication could work. However, mediation may not be effective in family law cases involving domestic violence or abuse or if one of the parties has serious mental issues or suffering from alcohol or drug dependency.
- When does mediation work?
Successful mediation is possible when both parties are comfortable communicating with each other and are committed to exploring solutions to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. For this reason, it is often recommended to start mediation early in a conflict before the parties become entrenched in their views.
The Law Office of Cherish Om: Trusted Family Law Mediation Lawyer in Watsonville, California
Mediation is often the most beneficial option when resolving family disputes. But at the Law Office of Cherish Om, I want you to make that decision for yourself. If you think mediation could be the right path for you, feel free to reach out to my office.
As your family law mediation lawyer, I will work tirelessly to keep you in control of the outcome of your case and will vigorously pursue your legal goals. I can provide a voice of reason and will act as your advocate to help you get everything you are entitled to under the law.
Contact my law firm today to schedule a consultation and determine if mediation would be the best option for your situation. Let’s start working toward a positive solution together.