How Does Family Law Mediation Work?
When two people are going through a separation or divorce, they often find themselves in conflict and looking for ways to resolve those issues. Taking those disputes to court can be a stressful experience and can cause further strain on their relationships. It also often leaves one or both parties feeling as though they have been treated unfairly. Fortunately, there is a better alternative to litigation: family law mediation.
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What Does Mediation Look Like?
Most mediations involve an impartial third party who aims to facilitate discussions and help parties reach agreements. This person is called a mediator and is typically a trained and experienced family lawyer who can help the participants identify their concerns and work toward a solution.
The mediator is not a judge and does not have legal advice. Instead, the mediator’s job is to facilitate discussion and help you to create an agreement that is acceptable to you and your spouse. The mediator can assist you with a parenting plan, property division, alimony, and other family law matters.
What Are the Benefits of Mediation?
Among the many benefits of mediation is that it can be less expensive than litigation. This is particularly true for couples who are committed to compromise and willing to work together to reach an agreement.
Mediation can also be quicker than a court proceeding. A typical mediation session usually lasts about an hour and can be held in a conference room, office, or online.
A mediator will meet with both you and your partner separately to get an idea of what your issues are. The mediator will then schedule meetings with you where you can address these issues.
The mediator will then ask you to discuss each issue in turn and try to come up with solutions that are agreeable to both of you. During these meetings, your mediator will take notes and will ask you questions to ensure that everyone is clear on what they are discussing.
You and your partner should make sure that you are honest and complete with your information, as you may not have the same view on some of the issues that arise during the mediation process. If you feel that your spouse is not being completely truthful and will not give full disclosure of their finances, you should consider other options for resolving the dispute.
Another important aspect of mediation is that it can be a less confrontational way to handle a separation or divorce. This is particularly important if you have children. It is not uncommon for children to feel uncomfortable and intimidated in a courtroom, which can lead to unnecessary emotional distress.
In addition, mediation can be a safe and confidential environment for you to express your concerns and emotions without fear of reprisals. This can be especially helpful if you and your spouse have children and are worried about the effects of a divorce on your children.
When you are ready to begin the process of resolving your issues through mediation, contact our San Francisco area law firm. We are happy to answer your questions about the process and provide you with the support that you need to achieve a positive outcome.