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Mediation

Over 185 Years of Combined Experience in Family Law




Orange County Divorce Mediation Lawyer

Mediation is one of the many ways that you can attempt to resolve the issues in your divorce case by agreement.

There are other methods from which litigants can settle their cases:

They can utilize Voluntary Settlement Conferences where they and their attorneys get together to discuss a resolution of the case.

They can hire a neutral, typically a retired judge, to act as a settlement judge. In such instances the parties, the attorneys and the retired judge get together to try to resolve the case.

They can mediate their case.

In mediation, you have a mediator who is deemed to be an impartial person and that mediator helps people reach an agreement that they can both accept and live with.

Basically, the mediator helps them talk through their legal matter. They typically try to simplify the way that the issues are being discussed, so it is easier to understand their case, to understand their dispute and to settle their dispute themselves.

But mediators do not make decisions about the parties dispute, they are not acting as a judge. They do not even have the power to make recommendations. They are an impartial person that helps both sides talk to each other to hopefully reach an agreement.

The agreement can only be reached if everybody agrees. The mediators are not going to force anyone to agree to anything. And, that mediator is also not going to provide any legal advice to either side because they're supposed to be impartial. Ttey cannot take sides or advocate on behalf of either party.

Contact our Orange County mediation attorneys today at to arrange your case consultation.

Is Mediation Right For You

Everybody should look into trying to resolve their dispute. The question becomes what tool is most effective to try to resolve the dispute. And, really it's a case by case determination. For example, if you reach out to a lawyer's office that provides mediation and you decide to hire them to help you as a mediator to help you on the other side, you need to understand that they are now conflicted out of the case. This implies when you choose a mediator, you need to understand you cannot then later decide to hire the same firm, attorney, to represent you as your divorce lawyer.

You also need to consider who you are hiring and whether you areI comfortable with the idea that if Mediation does not work, you will no longer be able to use that lawyer or law firm for purposes of litigating.

Therefore, if somebody is going to settle their case they should do so with an understanding of what their options are. They're not going to be able to do that if they only retain a mediator and they don't have their own lawyer.

Having said that, we think mediation may work for many. But for the more complex cases, the larger the difference is in the parties positions, the less likely Mediation is the right approach for them.

Mediation is not for everyone. Some litigants in a divorce don't have the emotional makeup that is necessary for the process to succeed. When potential clients reach out to a mediator, they [the mediator] must first have to determine if both of the spouses have the attitude and the beliefs that are consistent with the stir of Mediation.

Typically, you are good candidates for Mediation if you are motivated to settle your differences peacefully and cooperate without going to court. If your makeup is you want to fight, you're less likely to be cooperative. If you believe that your spouse is hiding something, or they breached their fiduciary duties, etc. If you're not motivated to resolve your differences peacefully and cooperatively without going to court, Mediation is probably not right.

If you would like to have the case decided by you and your spouse and not a judge, that is if you are satisfied with just purely coming up on an agreement between you and your spouse without having lawyers who advocate for you, without really knowing what's your best case or worst case scenario is, if you're satisfied with just simplifying and entering into an agreement between you and your spouse and not involving a judge, mediation also could be right for you.

If you're willing to engage in good faith discussions with your spouse in mediation, then again, it would or could be a good option for you. You also have to be willing to disclose all relevant information regarding your income, your expenses, your assets, your liabilities, your children. Let's remember again in mediation, we're using an informal process. So you need to count on informally complying with document requests from the mediator. So if you plan on not providing documents or fighting the production of records, then mediation is not right for you.

Attitude is very important if you're going through this process. You need to have a relationship where you can respectfully disagree with your spouse. You must be able to treat each other like adults despite whatever hatred you may have for each other.

Mediation is for you if you understand that you may not get everything you want. You're gonna to have to compromise on issues. And if you're not willing to compromise on an issue, in all likelihood, mediation is not right for you.

If you're a victim of domestic violence, mediation is not right for you. Period. Domestic violence is resolved by the court. You would need to pursue domestic violence in court.

Again, everything depends on you and your spouse’s attitudes, personalities and willingness to work together.

The Mediation Process

Once a couple retains the mediator, they [the mediator] will educate them [the couple] about how to process works. They will talk about the cost and you know how long it would take.

Then, the mediator would obtain relevant and necessary information from both sides. Typically this is done through written questionnaires.They will ask questions about the children, income, expenses, assets, liabilities, backup documentation, goals and more.

There will be Mediation meetings. This can be done via zoom or some video conferencing application where the parties and the mediator meet to help identify the areas in which they agree or disagree.

The mediator will help work through what would be an appropriate agreement on the areas that they don't have an agreement. A mediator is going to maintain neutrality at all times. As the process goes on, the mediator will put options in front of each of them. These are the options available to them. These are their alternatives in terms of how to think about settlement and assuming there's an agreement, it will be reduced to a written format. It can be a memorandum of understanding,a marital settlement agreement, a judgment of dissolution of marriage. All of which will incorporate the agreement the parties have reached.

Mediation Time Frame

The timeframe is driven partially by how cooperative the parties are. Presuming that the parties have actually filled out the questionnaires completely, they've provided all the documents to the mediator, from that point forward, it's a matter of having a couple of meetings.

Those meetings would probably be in the range of two or three half days.

You also have to consider the communications between the mediator and the parties, Whether it's by email or by phone, you have to consider the time the mediators will take to review the information being provided by both sides.

Add another half a day to meet to try to knock out an agreement.

The longer the mediation obviously, the more it's gonna cost people.

It is important to understand, when you're litigating a case, there are deadlines set by the court. There are always dates tied to a line case at court.

When you're mediating the case, the spouses are jointly controlling the pace of the process. There is no mandated deadline per se. So a lot of how quickly people are going to get through the mediation process is gonna be dependent upon their joint agreement on how quickly they want to run through the process.

Working with an Attorney to Mediate Your Divorce

If you believe you can work with your spouse to mediate your divorce, the Orange County mediation lawyers at Moshtael Family Law can offer experienced, knowledgeable insight.

Discuss your unique situation with one of our friendly professionals. Contact us now. We look forward to assisting you!

The Moshtael Family Law Team

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