Mediation in Family Law Cases
Contreras Law Firm understands that going through a divorce is already emotionally and financially difficult. The thought of having a Judge make orders regarding your finances, home, assets, and children can compound the situation. However, not every divorce needs to be finalized by the traditional public court system and hiring an attorney does not mean that your case needs to become an outright battle.
There are several Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options including mediation that can keep your case in your control. Mediation is a process where parties meet with a neutral third person called a mediator either in person or virtually to help resolve either some or all of the issues in the case. Although mediation can be completed with or without an attorney representing each of the parties, we highly recommend not going to mediation without counsel by your side. This is because during a mediation session, the mediator does not represent either of the parties. This means that they are not looking out for the other party’s best interest, but also they are not looking out for yours. Having an attorney present during mediation can ensure you understand your rights under the law and the likely outcome if your case were to go to court so that you can make a well-informed decision when negotiating with the other party.
Mediation can occur at anytime in the divorce process, whether you have just filed your Petition or have been unable to resolve issues for several years. You can even go to mediation for specific issues after your divorce is finalized such as a modification of child support, spousal support, child custody or child visitation. If you and the other party are able to reach an agreement on either all or some of the pending issues, an agreement under the Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6 will be drafted that day and signed by all those who participated. Signing this agreement ensures that both parties are bound by the terms reached in mediation.
Some of the advantages to bringing your case to mediation include:
- You can resolve your case faster than through the public court system;
- It is less costly both financially and emotionally;
- The information exchanged is confidential;
- You have more control of the results because you will be the decision maker rather than a Judge in court where there is never a guarantee of what that outcome will be;
- Parties are more likely to comply with the terms they enter into because they were agreed to rather ordered;
- If preserving the relationship with the other party is something you want, there is a greater chance of achieving it through mediation than through high-stress court proceedings.
Although not every case benefits from ADR,Contreras Law Firm can inform you whether mediation would be an asset in your case whether representing you or acting as the third-party neutral mediator. If you want more information regarding mediation, contact our office to speak with one of our San Diego family law attorneys. We offer free initial consultations to all new clients. You can contact us by calling 619-908-1495 or completing our online intake form to get started.