Because fighting out a divorce in court is so very expensive for both parties, trying divorce mediation is a good idea if there is a chance you can be civil with one another while a neutral mediator helps you through the process.
On its face, mediation is a simple solution: Both parties agree on a neutral person to assist them in coming to an agreement on all the issues in their divorce.
In a best case scenario, the mediator is also an experienced family law attorney and can advise the parties of their respective rights and obligations as well as preparing all the paperwork that is necessary to complete a marital dissolution.
A mediator does not have to be an attorney but using a licensed legal professional is a good way to make sure that everything is in order and that the judgment and marital settlement agreement are properly and accurately prepared.
How Divorce Mediation Works in California
While obtaining a divorce in California does require that a Petition and Summons be filed to initiate the court case, divorce mediation takes place outside court and often no court appearance is ever required if everything goes well.
Another advantage to divorce mediation is that the parties can share the costs instead of each paying their own lawyer separately. This can save both people thousands of dollars over the course of months or years it takes to litigate a case in the court system.
One thing you should know is that divorce mediation in California is entirely confidential (Evidence Code section 1119), and nothing that is said or discussed there can be used against you in court, unless you specifically agree otherwise.
Of course, if your mediator is an attorney, all communication with him or her is absolutely confidential from the outset, and the mediator, being neutral, does not represent one side or the other.
The mediator simply provides advice and guidance, including legal advice if he or she is an attorney, to both persons equally and does not favor either person over the other.
Contact a San Diego Divorce Lawyer for Help With Divorce Mediation
When you’re going through a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the process, including divorce mediation.
If you are considering divorce or have already made the difficult decision to pursue divorce and have questions, contact JWB Family Law to schedule a free consultation.
The Importance of the CFLS Designation
A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriage, child and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.
Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.