Our Santa Rosa California divorce attorneys know that a divorce is an incredibly stressful event. The divorce process can be lengthy, emotionally taxing on everyone involved, and have major financial implications for both spouses. For some couples, there is another option to the traditional divorce process that can help avoid the negative consequences of a divorce. This method is called mediation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation in California is defined as a process in which a neutral person or persons facilitates communication between disputants to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. What does this really mean? It means that a couple seeking a divorce will meet with a person that has no interest in the outcome of the divorce agreement in order to hash out the terms of their arrangement. The neutral person in these cases can be a family law lawyer, though the attorney cannot be an advocate for any single side in the case.
Generally a couple seeking a divorce through mediation will meet several times with the neutral person (mediator) within a short time period. In each session the mediator will encourage open dialogue between the parties in order to resolve any issues standing in the way of a divorce settlement. The goal of these sessions is to come to an agreement on all issues involved in a divorce in a timely manner and as stress free as possible for everyone.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation can has many advantages for the right people in the right situation. Mediation can be less stressful and more affordable for couples than the traditional divorce route. For couples that are flexible on reaching an agreement the process of mediation can avoid the stress of a drawn-out court battle, not to mention the financial cost of such an action. These advantages can also greatly benefit any children that the couple has.
Disadvantages of Mediation
Despite its advantages, mediation is not always the right option for couples seeking a divorce. For example, if there are complex financial issues involved the parties will need greater help to determine a fair outcome than mediation can provide. Another reason mediation might not be right in your situation is when there is a degree of animosity between the spouses that could be a roadblock in reaching an agreement.
Marital Settlement Agreement
Once an agreement has been reached through mediation it must be finalized through a Marital Settlement Agreement in order to be binding. This agreement is a document where all of the details of the settlement reached in mediation are documented. The agreement is then signed by both parties and becomes legally binding as it is technically a contract.
Getting Legal Help in Northern California
If you are interested in learning more about mediation as a means to obtain a divorce settlement, Beck Law P.C. can help you. The family law attorneys of the firm can help you through this trying situation and help you determine which method of obtaining a divorce is best for your circumstances. For a free consultation regarding mediation, or a traditional divorce action, contact Beck Law P.C. at 707-576-7175 or contact us online.
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