We will pose a few questions:DO I AND MY "Soon-to-be-Ex" Agree:
We are sure we are going to divorce
We don't need attorneys to fight about it.
We want to know how to do divorce sensibly, and legally.
IF these apply to you, CONSIDER DIVORCE MEDIATION
Here are the Top 3 Reasons couples choose Divorce Mediation:
Allow us to introduce a Caveat:
If the parties are uncommunicative and unwilling to listen to each other's needs, mediation is not likely to be productive.
We do understand the paradox: As a separating couple, you probably have difficulty communicating well on complicated issues. Despite this difficulty, it is true that successful mediation requires being open to communication, something that has usually been long lost to divorcing couples.
An attorney is not required for divorce mediation. (Unless you want one to be):
You may use a mediator to ensure that the legal process of divorce is done right. If there are unresolved issues, the mediator will present neutral guidance in the best interest of both parties, as well as every piece of information required to ensure both you and your almost-ex negotiate fairly.
A mediator cannot also serve as an attorney to either party.
If there are things remaining to be resolved, it may be advantageous to the process to bring a consulting attorney or other professional to mediation sessions.
Who shall be your mediator?
California does not require divorce mediators to be licensed1. This means that anyone may hold himself or herself out as divorce mediator irrespective of whether they have any degrees, experience, licensing or credentialing in the field of divorce. It is therefore important to scrutinize a potential mediator's background.In the case of Michele Sacks Lowenstein, your professional is a licensed California attorney and a Certified Family Law Specialist with 30 years of extensive experience practicing divorce law.
If we have answered your questions give us a call.
Children are smart and sensitive. They recognize when their parents are fighting whether it is at home or through lawyers in a court room. By the very agreement to mediate you are diffusing the antagonistic attitudes that litigation encourages. Battling parents are not the norm in mediation.
Prolonged divorce actions are exhausting, which is hard on everybody involved except the opposing attorneys. If a couple is in agreement and mediation ensues, the divorce should take place in far less time than would be the case for a litigated divorce.
While divorce is never easy, it is true that some divorces are easier than others. Minimizing the effects of divorce on children (and their parents) often hinges upon open communication from parent-to-parent, and from parents-to-children.
The parenting plan and co-parenting agreement will have a large impact on the children. This critical contract is best worked out between the parents directly, instead of through opposing attorneys who know little about the children.Mediation should serve as a platform for parents to discuss and communicate, and resolve options as they determine custody, visitation, support orders, and plan for life with their children after divorce.
Mediation is divorce outside of a combative environment. The nature of mediation centers around direct negotiation as a conflict resolution model (if there is conflict). Mediation does not pit opposing teams against one another, each working to get more while giving little.
The pace of the process will be determined by you and your soon-to-be-ex, and not by the demands of opposing and possibly opportunistic counsel.
Mediation's substantial reduction in cost is inherently less stressful on a divorcing couple and upon their finances.
Avoid the expense of fighting multiple battles in court. (Despite the cost difference, mediated and litigated divorces are legally binding and equally so, regardless of the method, regardless of the cost).
Mediation requires you, as a couple, to employ only one professional: the mediator. If unresolved issues in your case need the expertise of additional professionals, their services may be required for only one or two sessions.
In general, divorce done through mediation is finished more quickly. Less time = less cost.
1It is important to understand the distinction between a divorce mediator and mental health professional who works for the court as a Family Court Mediator to assist parties to reach a resolution with respect the parenting plan for their children. As a condition of employment, those individuals are required to have a master’s degree in counseling, social work, or a related field as well as other qualifications.