Whatever your circumstances or the length of your marriage, divorce is a complicated and stressful process. However, aside from courtroom divorce, you also have a relatively less stressful option to consider: mediated divorce in Riverside.
If you have children, you and your spouse may have trouble coming to an agreement when it comes to child custody matters. Other than issues concerning your children, you may also have disagreements over property division and spousal support.
With mediated divorce, there’s a possibility of you and your spouse reaching an amicable arrangement or an agreement that works for everyone while also saving time and money, and keeping stress to a minimum. At Heath Baker Law, we have the expertise and experience to help you through the process of divorce mediation.
Riverside divorce attorney Heath L. Baker is a seasoned family lawyer experienced in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes for divorcing spouses. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you in coming to an agreement with your spouse over contentious matters, so you can both move on to the next chapter of your lives.
What Is Divorce Mediation in California?
In California, divorce mediation is a process where a divorcing couple hires and sits down with a trained and experienced neutral attorney. This attorney must have a mastery of California state laws and conflict resolution, particularly in mediating divorces.
In their role as mediator, the neutral attorney guides the couple through the process of discussing and coming to an agreement regarding various aspects of their divorce. The mediator does not make decisions for you. Rather, they act as the facilitator of your divorce settlement.
Benefits of a Mediated Divorce In Riverside
A mediated divorce is a worthwhile consideration for divorcing couples as it offers several benefits:
- Divorce mediation is a cost-effective solution for resolving disagreements over the terms of a divorce.
- Divorce mediation is confidential, so there are no public records of the mediation sessions.
- Mediation enables couples to come to an agreement based on their individual perceptions of what is fair and just without the need to be subjected to rigid legal principles.
- The divorcing couple has control over the process.
- Mediation can help conflicted or clashing couples communicate better and avoid conflicts as a divorced couple in the future.
However, if you experienced domestic violence during your marriage, mediated divorce is not recommended. Ultimately, though, the decision is in your hands, and you can always have your own attorney advise or represent you during mediation.
For a divorce mediation to be successful, both parties need to be willing to negotiate and open to the possibility of compromising over certain terms.
The Role of the Mediator
The divorce mediator is a specially trained and highly experienced neutral third party skilled in the art of dispute resolution. Their task is to guide the divorcing couple in meaningful conversation about the issues that need to be covered to reduce stress, avoid finger-pointing, and minimize the drama that comes with divorce.
The divorce mediator will keep you and your spouse on track and can provide suggestions on how you can both resolve certain contentious issues. The divorce mediator also performs the following tasks:
- Facilitates mediation discussions by ensuring either party is given opportunities to speak without interruption
- Addresses the parties to restate, clarify, or explain certain points raised when needed
- Asks questions to clarify any points raised during a discussion
- Provides the divorcing couple with relevant information about the legal system
- Discusses how issues in the divorce may be viewed by legal experts, such as lawyers and judges
- Guides discussions on child or spousal support
- Raises alternatives or options to resolve issues
- Refers the divorcing couple to third-party experts for related services whenever necessary
How Divorce Mediation Works In Riverside
Mediated divorce requires spouses to approach their divorce collaboratively with the aid of a mediator. During mediation, they need to cover various terms of the divorce, particularly those issues that they have difficulty agreeing upon, such as the following:
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support and maintenance
- Spousal support
- Division of assets and liabilities
By taking a collaborative approach and allowing the mediator to do their job, divorcing couples can resolve their disputes without leaving their decisions in the hands of a judge.
However, do not expect a quick outcome, especially in the beginning. You will need to iron out your differences first and learn to trust each other. You also need to believe in your mutual commitment to work things out amicably.
Preparing for Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is now a popular option among couples who want to benefit from its cost and time-effectiveness. Also, some couples find reasonable discussions and personal negotiations to be a more comfortable way of resolving differences, rather than having their situations discussed by strangers in court.
However, it’s important for you to always come prepared to your mediation sessions to ensure you have a fruitful, meaningful discussion. Below are some things you can do as part of your preparation:
- Read up or conduct a research on family laws and statutes, especially ones that can impact the issues to be discussed during mediation.
- Make a list of your comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions relevant to the mediation agenda.
- If you have kids, prepare a parenting or visitation plan for your spouse’s review.
- Ask your attorney for help in preparing for your mediation session.
- Be open-minded and anticipate the items your spouse may raise during the session.
By coming to each mediation session prepared, not only will you be able to raise issues that are important to you, but you will also be helping cover all aspects of your divorce.
After Mediation, What Next?
A successful mediated divorce should ideally lead to the fruitful resolution of all the terms of your divorce, as well as the divorce itself. If, for example, certain issues remain unresolved, you have the option to take those matters to court to be decided upon by a judge.
For matters concerning mediated divorce, Heath Baker Law is your go-to expert.Please get in touch with us to discuss your next step.