• Long & Vernon LLP

Why You Should Consider Mediation in a California Divorce

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

If you are going through a divorce, called Dissolution of Marriage in California, you should consider mediation to assist you and your spouse in settling your case outside of the courtroom. While it is human nature to view litigation as a win or lose situation, the reality of divorce litigation in California is that no one really wins, except in some rare circumstances.

The most cost-effective way to resolve a divorce case involves both spouses working together in order to reach an agreed upon resolution of all issues. Mediation does not prohibit both spouses from retaining an attorney to properly advise of all rights and obligations related to a divorce case, prior to the signing of a binding settlement agreement. Effective attorneys welcome mediation and advise their clients to consider potential settlement options within a divorce case. Litigation of a divorce case through trials and court hearings is incredibly expensive, as an attorney must spend a great amount of time preparing for a trial or hearing at an hourly rate.

However, when both spouses can sit down together to discuss potential ways to resolve splitting Community Property Assets and Debts, spousal support issues, child support issues, and child custody and visitation issues, they will likely end up spending only a fraction of what it would cost to litigate a divorce case through a trial. Additionally, spouses that settle their divorce case through mediation can have complete control the outcome of their case. Family Court Judges must strictly apply Community Property Rules, which in most cases involves splitting Community Assets and Debts equally between the parties. Family Court trial rulings do not account for the difficulties often associated with splitting Community Property assets and debts “50/50”. Further, spouses that reach out of court settlements receive a Judgment, also known as Divorce Decree in other jurisdictions, in a fraction of the time it takes to receive a Judgment through a contested trial in front of a judge.

Mediation also allows both spouses to avoid the emotional trauma of appearing in front of a Family Court judge and courtroom full of people, to receive a judge’s decision on how to resolve issues within a divorce case. Generally, divorce proceedings are open to the public and the judge will likely be hearing other Family Court cases on the same day of your hearing. Mediation gives both spouses a way to avoid “airing the dirty laundry” often associated with a divorce in an open courtroom.

Mediators do not choose sides. A mediator’s job is to assist both spouses in attempting to reach an out of court agreement to resolve the issues within your divorce case. A mediator will listen to the wishes and concerns of both spouses to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. The mediator can then assist spouses in coming up with alternative ways to settle each issue.

The attorneys at Long & Vernon LLP have a combination of over 12 years of family law litigation experience and understand the value of mediating a divorce case. We welcome attorney participation in mediation sessions between spouses. Our goal is to provide mediation services that offer a safe and comfortable setting for spouses to work together towards an out of court settlement of issues in divorce cases. Contact us today at 619-485-2900 to learn more about the mediation services offered by Long & Vernon LLP.

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