What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process where I as your mediator will help each of you communicate your priorities and concerns and hear those of your spouse. We will work together to identify and prioritize your issues, generate possible solutions and ultimately reach a global resolution and agreement that we will draft for you both. During this process, we also will help you meet the legal state requirements disclosing your financial information and filing the necessary forms to ensure a complete resolution of your matter.
What would make our case one that is suitable for mediation?
If you prioritize your ability to make your own decisions for your family, value privacy and efficiency, are capable of hearing your spouse’s priorities and concerns and are open to compromise, mediation can be an ideal way to resolve your matter.
Are there financial advantages to mediation?
Mediation is often less expensive than other divorce processes. You work primarily with one mediator and typically spend less on consulting attorneys (if you have them) than you would if you were in a more litigious process. Mediation tends to be more efficient and tends to take less time so in that way you also save money.
Does a mediator give legal advice?
I have an extensive background in family law and have expertise in complex financial and custody issues. However, as your mediator, I do not represent or advocate for either of you. Instead I am a neutral facilitator. I will provide you with legal education and information about state laws and local court rules as needed and requested.
What if there has been a history of domestic violence or substance abuse in our family?
I will do my best to assess whether I believe that mediation can feel safe and effective to you both and you may still be able to proceed in mediation.
When is the ideal time to start mediation?
Really you both can begin mediation at any time you are both open to resolving your issues outside of court.
Do we need our own consulting attorneys?
I always encourage you each to have your own consulting attorney and may in fact require it if I feel you have reached an impasse in mediation and added structure and support would be helpful to move through it. Otherwise, I leave it to you.
How many times will we meet?
This varies depending on you both, the complexity of your matter, your ability to hear one another and communicate, the level of conflict, your commitment to your homework, and your motivation to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. I tell my clients that if you are not sensing real progress after our 4th or 5th session, we will want to brainstorm ways to make the process more effective for you.
Is mediation always successful?
While no method of conflict resolution is always successful, the rates of success for mediation are better than those for litigation. In mediation, both parties’ priorities are incorporated. Success in mediation requires that you both negotiate in good faith and are motivated to resolve matters. Mediation allows you to maintain control over the process.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce offers so many of the same benefits as mediation with added support and structure “at the table.” For more information, the best places to look are here at Collaborative Practice California or Collaborative Practice San Mateo County.
Should I choose mediation or Collaborative Divorce?
Mediation is ideal when you and your spouse wish to resolve your matter with one neutral facilitator and want to keep costs down. Collaborative Divorce is ideal when more support and structure at the table is desired. Both processes allow you to remain in control of the outcome and offer privacy, support and interest-based negotiation.
Can we use the Collaborative process for our Cohabitation, Premarital, or Post-marital Agreement?
Absolutely, and it is often ideal for these agreements, as we as your collaborative counsel will help you identify your interests and priorities and hear one another in negotiating an agreement that works for you both.