Mediation During a Divorce
The team at the Santa Monica Family Law Offices of Atousa Saei often help parties reach an agreement outside of court. Through the process of divorce mediation, the firm serves as a neutral party to help spouses resolve their differences. Through this non-adversarial setting, the firm is able to strengthen communication between the parties, assist them in setting goals, and create a plan and agreement that meets their needs. The mediation process also serves to educate the parties as to the likely outcome of their matter should it be taken to court, where it will be decided by a judicial officer.
Divorce mediation is highly recommended since it can save money, preserve relationships, allow an open channel of communication, and expedite closure. It is important to note that mediation services are confidential and what happens in divorce mediation is not admissible in court. When compared to court litigation, both parties often have far greater flexibility in resolving issues such as visitation schedules that fit both parties’ needs. Most importantly, such an approach can also control costs. While court is often the only recourse for many couples, it can be an expensive option.
The Law Offices of Atousa Saei are available to mediate the entire marriage dissolution as well as any custody disputes. We can show you how to prepare for divorce mediation. This is often a healthier option for all parties involved. Straightforward and effective is the Saei Law Firm approach when conducting its divorce mediation service.
Why Consult with a Santa Monica Divorce Mediation Attorney & How to Prepare
A divorce mediation is best handled by a skilled and qualified divorce mediation lawyer, such as the attorneys at the Law Offices of Atousa Saei. While you can theoretically draft a mediation agreement yourself, there is a huge margin for error. It is wise to speak with an attorney regarding your legal rights. Specifically, an attorney will:
- Evaluate your options. Prior to the divorce mediation, an attorney will help you evaluate the various options, select a divorce mediator in Santa Monica, and persuade your spouse to mediate.
- Act as a law coach. During the divorce mediation, a legal adviser can act as a law coach on an as-needed basis. Between sessions, you can consult with your divorce mediator to clarify questions and prepare for negotiations. A good legal adviser can coach you in negotiating techniques and help you think up creative solutions to conflicts that seem unresolvable.
- Predict outcomes and costs. A divorce mediator in Santa Monica can also help predict the range of possible outcomes if you were to go to court — and the cost of paying a divorce lawyer to fight for them. Knowing the possible outcomes can be essential to a successful negotiation as many parties want to avoid extra cost, time and emotional strain.
- Review agreements. Perhaps most important, a legal adviser can review any written agreement prepared by the divorce mediator to make sure that it says what you want it to say and that it will be legally binding once signed.
- Prepare court documents. Finally, your legal adviser can interface with the court, helping you prepare the required paperwork once your settlement agreement is signed.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Divorce Mediator
Mediation is the process where parties utilize a neutral third person to assist them in reaching an amicable agreement. Mediators are routinely consulted during divorce proceedings to help couples resolve disputes regarding child custody and visitation, child support, and/or the division of marital property.
At the Law Offices of Atousa Saei, we help Southern California residents reach agreements regarding their divorce disputes in lieu of court litigation. We invite you to contact us for more information about how our mediators can help you. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of using a mediator.
- Each party can discuss his/her stance regarding the situation without the constraints of civil rules.
- Flexibility as to when the parties can decide to meet.
- Mediation services allow parties to keep aspects of their marriage confidential.
- Mediation services provide both parties the opportunity to listen to one another in a non-confrontational setting – unlike in a courtroom.
- The parties actively participate in resolving their dispute instead of relying on a judge to do so.
- Mediation services allow the parties to communicate directly with one another instead of through their attorneys.
- Mediation services can help preserve the existing relationship between the parties.
- The parties, not the mediator nor judge, have the final say in reaching an agreement.
- Mediation services tend to be more affordable than hiring counsel to resolve the dispute through litigation.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, you still have the opportunity to go to court to litigate the matter.
- Both parties may not agree to mediate.
- One party may be unwilling to cooperate or compromise.
- In limited cases, such as domestic violence between the parties, mediation is inappropriate.
- Mediation services may be inappropriate for resolving urgent matters.
- Concerns and legal challenges may arise regarding the enforceability of an agreement reached through mediation.
- Mediation services may not work for couples who have a history of animosity throughout their relationship.
- Under limited circumstances, attorneys may be involved which may increase the cost of mediation.
- Hiring an unskilled/inexperienced mediator can do more damage than good.
- If a party is hiding assets, mediation may not be best for the couple.
At our law practice, we provide a calm and safe environment for parties to come together and discuss their divorce disputes. Our family law and divorce attorneys have years of experience helping parties reach agreements regarding the terms of their divorce.
When Should You Contact A Mediator
Have a consultation with a legal adviser early on during the mediation process. Waiting to consult with a divorce mediator in Santa Monica until after you’ve already negotiated an agreement, and you may be in for some surprises about your legal rights that could undermine your commitment to the agreement you’ve just negotiated. Going back to mediation and trying to renegotiate the agreement at that point is often disastrous.
If you start the mediation process with solid legal information, you can negotiate an agreement that takes into account all of your legal rights. This makes it much less likely that the mediation will fall apart at the last minute.