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Divorce Mediation Lawyers in Los Angeles

Divorce Mediation Lawyers in Los Angeles CaliforniaNot all divorces in California need to end up in costly litigation. In fact, the majority of divorces are settled with alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and collaboration between lawyers.

Mediation has an excellent success rate, with 50 to 80 percent of cases leading to an agreement.

If you need assistance with your divorce settlement or to settle a dispute during a divorce, speak to the divorce mediation lawyers at The Sands Law Group APLC.

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What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process that can help divorcing couples resolve matters related to their separation without relying on a judge to make decisions.

Instead, during mediation, a trained, professional, impartial mediator facilitates discussions between the spouses and attempts to guide them toward a resolution of the issue(s).

For most divorce matters, such as property division and spousal support (alimony), the mediation process is undertaken voluntarily and privately by the divorcing couple, with both partners agreeing to the process.

During mediation, a series of confidential meetings will be held at which the outstanding issues are outlined and the couple seeks a negotiated resolution. This non-adversarial process has many cost-saving, time-saving, and other benefits over litigation.

What can I expect at divorce mediation?

The mediator cannot provide legal advice during mediation but can explain the legal consequences of decisions and assist the divorcing couple in creating a mutually beneficial settlement.  If the process is successful, the mediator will help draft an agreement.

You should not expect the mediator to decide anything at the end of the mediation process. The final decision on whether to accept a proposed solution rests with the spouses.

Is divorce mediation required in California?

Most mediations are voluntary in California divorces but if a couple has children and custody is disputed, mediation may be ordered by the court to avoid a complex, lengthy, and stressful legal battle.

A court-appointed mediator will direct sessions and attempt to reach a workable solution that the court will then make a final determination on.

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What are the benefits of mediation in California?

Divorces can become emotionally and financially draining. Mediation is a way to help prevent that, with many benefits over litigation.

More affordable

Compared to a highly contested, litigated divorce, a mediated settlement is generally much more affordable.

Generally, couples will pay for the services of the mediator at a pre-agreed rate but this avoids many of the costs associated with trial lawyers and court appearances.

Quicker than litigation

The divorce litigation process can take many months or even years in California.

A mediated case may be completed in a matter of hours, weeks or months, depending on the complexity of the issues in dispute and the willingness of each party to negotiate.

Control over the final decisions(s)

With litigation, the outcome is unpredictable because the decision is taken out of the divorcing couple’s hands. You cannot be certain of your outcome until lawyers deliver the arguments and a judge or jury decides who is right and who is wrong.

In mediation, you keep control of the final decision, meaning that you (and nobody else) decide your family’s future—including how you arrange parenting and raise your children as well as manage your financial separation.

More creative solutions

With mediation, the mediator will try to maintain focused and constructive dialog to reach a positive outcome for both parties.

The process is more informal than the traditional legal process and allows for more creative solutions not strictly bound by state statutes, as in court-ordered decisions.

Some mediated solutions concerning children may need court approval before being legally valid but otherwise, as long as the parents put the needs of the children first, creative solutions are acceptable if they work for both parents—without any court appearance required.

Private, non-adversarial, and less stressful

Because mediation looks for “common ground”, there are no “winners” or “losers” like there often are in courtroom battles. The process is less adversarial for all parties involved and the informal setting (rather than an imposing courtroom) also reduces stress.

The process is also private, meaning that matters stay confidential and are not aired in public, which often heightens tensions between the spouses.

Preservation of family relationships

An often-overlooked benefit of mediation is that it helps to preserve family relationships.

Couples who use an alternative dispute resolution method for their dissolution of marriage, such as mediation, are more likely to experience a positive post-divorce relationship than those who litigate. This is a major benefit, especially for marriages with children.

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Mediation: the smart alternative to court

Property, support, and child custody/parenting disputes have the potential to quickly obstruct divorces that seem amicable and smooth at first.

Mediation often provides a way to de-escalate the situation and get the divorce process back on track for all concerned. It can be a smart alternative to court, chiefly for the following reasons:

Flexibility: the mediation process can take many forms and offers the potential for more creative, personalized, and customized solutions that are not solely dictated by state statutes and laws.

Privacy: matters remain private and confidential unlike in a courtroom trial where family affairs must inevitably be brought out into the public domain and are a matter of public record.

Cost-effectiveness: mediation is an opportunity to reduce the legal costs of divorce.

Speed: mediated solutions are generally much speedier than litigated outcomes.

How long does family mediation take?

Because of the wide variety of forms that mediation can take, along with the potential range and scope of matters to be discussed, it’s difficult to be general with family law mediation timescales.

Simple, single-issue divorce disputes may be settled in hours; more typically, disputes are more complex and take several sessions over the course of weeks or even months.

Ultimately, the duration of the mediation process depends on the following factors:

  • The complexity of the matter/issues to be resolved
  • The emotional state of the parties and their willingness to negotiate
  • The amount and availability of the necessary documentation/information
  • The amount of analysis required for a solution

How much does a divorce mediation cost in California?

Mediation is highly likely to cost much less than a litigated divorce.

If you are going through a divorce in California, the divorce mediation attorneys at The Sands Law Group APLC can help. Contact us or call at 213-788-4412 today for a free 15-minute phone consultation about your case.

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