Sacramento Divorce Attorney Takes You Through the Mediation Process
Avoiding litigation and achieving your goals
One of the most frustrating aspects of divorce in California is dealing with a crowded court calendar that can slow the process to a crawl. In addition, court hearings are stressful and very expensive. Also, the adversarial nature of a trial can make it difficult for parents to cooperate later for the sake of their children. However, for many divorcing couples, mediation is a viable option. At the Law Office of Stephanie L. Williams, we perform mediation services for divorcing couples. We also counsel clients who are going through the mediation process, and we review their settlement agreements prior to signing. If you are wondering if mediation is right for your divorce, trust a board-certified family law specialist to answer your questions so you can make the right choice.
How divorce mediation works in California
Mediation is a voluntary process of negotiation where parties to a dispute meet with a neutral third-party facilitator, the mediator, over the course of several sessions. The mediator does not have to be a divorce attorney, though an experienced lawyer’s knowledge and insights can be useful. Parties should agree to commit to mediation, and each should be satisfied with the choice of the mediator.
Each session has an agenda, and the parties prepare for discussions separately, generally by conferring with their own attorney. In the mediation session, the mediator guides the parties through a discussion to find where common ground exists. The mediator does not give legal advice or make decisions about who is right or wrong on any issue. But, the mediator can suggest alternative ways of looking at a problem or compromises for the parties to consider.
Mediation is not tied to the court calendar, so you can schedule sessions according to your availability. Mediation is also less expensive, since there is only one mediator rather than two attorneys. There is no court reporter, and the parties typically split the cost of mediation.
When you reach an agreement — settling all or a few of your issues — the mediator drafts a document for you to review with your attorney. Your attorney may want some points revised or fine-tuned. When you have a document you and your spouse can agree on, you sign the settlement and present it to the court.
If your agreement settles all of your issues, the court can approve your settlement and issue a divorce decree, basing the orders on your document. The court rarely declines to approve a settlement. If you only reach a partial settlement, the court can accept what you have agreed to and set the outstanding issues for trial.
Mediation can greatly reduce the time, stress and expense of your divorce and help you lay the groundwork for cooperative parenting in the future.
Trust a family law specialist in Sacramento for your divorce mediation
At the Law Office of Stephanie L. Williams, we represent clients in divorce mediation and act as mediators for divorcing couples. To learn how a board-certified family law specialist can help you find success through mediation, call 916-407-0544 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.