Divorce Attorney Los Angeles
MEDIATION SAVES MONEY
Cost for a comprehensive divorce mediation, including preparing and filing all of the legal paperwork necessary to obtain a final judgment from the court, averages between $3,500.00 and $8,000.00. (Complex cases can be significantly higher).
MEDIATION PRESERVES RELATIONSHIPS
Make no mistake about it. Going to trial in a family law case is like going into battle. Every point must be proven with competent evidence. Parties will be forced to face difficult cross examination while giving testimony from a witness stand. It may create animosity with the opposing party, which prevents any further civil discourse. In cases involving children, this is harmful to children.
MEDIATION IS BETTER FOR CHILDREN
Children feel their parent’s pain. They want to protect the parent they feel is being attacked. Taking a aggressive posture in litigation, while sometimes necessary, is emotionally difficult for your children. If parents can maintain a relationship which allows them to co parent and help foster a relationship with the other parent, they will also foster a better relationship for themselves.
HAVING CONTROL OF THE PROCESS REDUCES ANXIETY
Fear on the unknown. Clients have shared with me the anxiety caused by not knowing what to expect when they go to court. We have tried to address this in our litigation cases through client education but the truth is, when we put your case in the hands of someone else, a judge, no one but that judge can truly, completely, control the outcome. Family law is unique in the amount of discretion given to judges in making decisions. Judges will do what they believe is fair. That can be very different than what you and your attorney think is fair.
Before our first meeting, you and your spouse will be asked to gather financial information and fill out a questionnaire. At the first session, we will explain the process, the mediator’s role, the parties’ role, and the ground rules needed to make the process fair for everyone involved, review the written Agreement to Mediate, and answer all of your questions. After the Agreement to Mediate is signed by both parties, we develop an agenda of the issues to discuss and start gathering information and documents as follows:
- All the assets and debts so parties can make fully informed decisions about their division of property
- Income and expenses so parties can decide what support is needed, the amount of support, and for how long
- Children’s and parents’ needs and interests so the parents can develop a parenting plan which will work for everyone
Throughout the process, we facilitate communication so that each party can safely express what is important to them and why. We assist both parties in negotiating an agreement that meets their individual and family needs, interests and values. The goal is for the parties to reach an agreement that will be considered fair and acceptable by both parties now and in the future.
HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE
The mediation of a full, comprehensive divorce averages between 3 to 8 sessions. Some people take less time and some take more time, depending on the complexity and number of issues, and the level of conflict. Each session is a minimum of 2 hours. The parties and mediator together decide when and how often they will meet. The range of time to complete a mediation and obtain a final divorce can be anywhere between a few weeks to months.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT ME
The parties decide the level of attorney involvement. Some parties do not want to have an attorney at all. Others want to have an attorney that they can consult with outside of the mediation when they feel the need to. Many times it is the attorneys who facilitate and attend mediation sessions with them. We strongly advise, and sometimes insist, that each party have a consulting attorney review the final Marital Settlement Agreement.