Divorce Mediation Attorney in Oceanside, California
The decision to end a marriage doesn’t have to result in the extensive trial or expensive legal fees that are the hallmark of a traditional divorce case. You can get divorced without going to court and facing a legal battle. If you are considering legally separating from your spouse, divorce mediation is an alternative to a traditional trial that can save you both time and money. Beyond the financial savings, mediation can be a great option for separated couples seeking to avoid the emotional toll a contested divorce trial can cause.
If you decide that divorce mediation is the best option for you, Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP is here to help you every step of the way. Based in Oceanside, California, our firm is home to seasoned divorce mediation lawyers who can represent your interests throughout the divorce process and ensure a successful meditation experience.
What is divorce mediation?
In divorce mediation, you, your spouse, and/or your respective lawyers will hire a neutral third party to meet with you in order to resolve the issues in your divorce. This mediator won’t necessarily be a lawyer, however they will be knowledgeable of divorce and family law. They’ll use this knowledge to sit down with you and your spouse to reach a settlement that meets the needs of both parties.
Is divorce mediation right for me?
As stated, divorce mediation can be a wonderful choice for couples in Oceanside who are interested in avoiding a traditional, time-consuming divorce trial. There are many benefits to getting divorced outside of court, including:
- Control over the divorce mediation process
- Mediation is not as expensive as a traditional court trial or hearing
- There will be no public record of your sessions — Mediation is confidential
- The settlement or solution to your case is based on your needs and not California law
While mediation can be a great experience with many financial and emotional benefits — it’s not right for every couple. It’s important to consider the relationship you have with your spouse. Do you disagree with the decision to get a divorce? Did the marriage end due to a physical or emotional dispute? If so, you may want to consider a traditional divorce trial.
Since a mediator cannot legally order either party to do anything, mediation could potentially be used by the disgruntled party to stall the divorce process. By delaying the process and not cooperating, your spouse could prevent you from closing this chapter of your life or receiving the financial support you were seeking as a result of your case.
Signs That Divorce Mediation is Right for You
Below you’ll find clear indicators that divorce mediation could be beneficial to you and your spouse:
You Both Agree to the Divorce
When you’ve both come to the conclusion that being separated is for the best, you may find it much easier to work toward a settlement than disgruntled spouses that may disagree on whether divorce is necessary. Even if one spouse decided they would like a divorce and the other wasn’t prepared to end the relationship, if they’ve had time to discuss their reasonings and the other party has become more understanding in time, then mediation may be the final step needed in order to close this chapter of their life.
You Don’t Place Blame on Your Spouse for the Divorce
California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that there is no need to prove a spouse or domestic partner did something wrong in order to get a divorce. Even so, couples who disagree about which partner is the root cause of their division may not be ready for the mediation stage. When one spouse blames the other for the divorce, they can find it hard to settle on an agreement without the help of a traditional divorce court, but individual counseling prior to starting the mediation process may make it easier.
You Want to End the Relationship on Good Terms
If you want to remain on good terms with your spouse for the sake of your children or for personal reasons, then reaching a compromise during the mediation process would definitely benefit this goal. While the desire to maintain a relationship based on mutual respect isn’t necessary for a successful mediation, it certainly can help. If one party feels resentment toward the other due to the divorce – it doesn’t mean mediation is completely out of the question. Try to find a divorce mediator in Oceanside, California, who is open to performing in separate meetings.
Both Parties Are Honest About Important Issues
Since the mediator during your divorce proceedings cannot legally force either party to do anything, the process relies on the voluntary and honest exchange of information between both parties. When one spouse isn’t being honest or sincere, then it can become increasingly difficult to reach an agreement – especially when it comes to property and finances.
Divorce mediation relies on mutual cooperation in order to reach an end result that the couple can agree one. That is where an experienced divorce mediation attorney can assist you. Your law representative can conduct legal discovery of facts and records to ensure you are aware of all finances or property involved before you begin the negotiation process.
You Are Able to Negotiate with Your Spouse
Negotiation is about more than just compromise – it’s about meeting with another individual on an equal field without the risk of duress or intimidation. While helping both parties communicate is a key role of your divorce mediation lawyer, if you or your spouse can’t negotiate without losing your temper, then meditation may not be the best decision for your case.
Beyond intimidation, if physical violence was a part of your relationship, then your mediator may refuse your case completely. In these situations, it’s traditionally best to have the divorce handled in court to ensure a fair settlement.
If all of the above apply to you, then mediation should be a successful process that leads to a settlement that satisfies both parties. If you’ve read through the list and still aren’t sure if you should get divorced outside of court, then let an experienced California divorce mediation lawyer assist you. At Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, we’ll use our knowledge of divorce law to help you make the best decision for your emotional and financial needs.
Where do I find a divorce mediator?
When working with an experienced divorce mediation lawyer, you won’t have to put in the efforts of searching for a reputable mediator on your own. Your mediation lawyer will have legal contacts and can make recommendations. Even after you receive suggestions for your divorce mediation attorney, feel free to contact the mediators and ask questions ahead of time. By getting a feel for each one’s personality, you can decide on whether this is someone you can trust to review your case fairly.
Other options for finding a mediator in your area include:
- Check the “Mediation” section of your local telephone directory
- Search for “Mediator in Oceanside, California” on the Internet
- Reach out to your local bar association
- Contact courts near Oceanside to ask about their mediation panel
What is the divorce mediation process?
Once you’ve made the decision to hire a divorce mediation lawyer and start the process, the mediator will reach out to you to discuss your marriage and your current issues. The first meeting will be held in a neutral space like a conference room or office. Depending on your personal situation, the meeting will be held in the same room as your spouse and his or her mediation attorney, or you will each meet with the mediator privately.
Before you officially begin, you may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that states neither you, nor your mediator, will disclose the information discussed outside of your sessions. You (and your spouse) will have the opportunity to give a short statement. If you choose to do so, the mediator may take the opportunity to start asking questions about your statement to ensure everyone has a mutual understanding.
After these preliminary proceedings, you’ll really start the process of ironing out where your disagreements lie. The first step is to see if both parties agree on what issues they need to work on, then you can set a plan for how to overcome this obstacle.
You may find that you need to gather more information throughout the process. For example, if you are unsure of certain financial aspects of your case, you need the concrete facts before you are ready to negotiate. The mediator and your divorce mediation attorney will ensure you know about any information you’ll need for your settlement so that you can come to your sessions prepared. You may need your divorce mediation lawyer to meet with you ahead of time to discuss the process in full so you are prepared in advance.
Negotiating an Agreement for Your Divorce
Reaching a settlement in a divorce is about give and take. The most important word to keep in mind throughout the process is: compromise. You and your spouse will be negotiating all aspects of your relationship that were previously shared – especially your finances and property. To make the process easier, your mediator will encourage you and your spouse to be open about your opinions and desires, helping you communicate effectively to come to a resolution. It’s also paramount to listen and try to understand where your spouse is coming from – even if you end up disagreeing with their point. And hopefully – you putting forth effort to understand what may or may not be important to your spouse during negotiation will encourage them to do the same.
Following a mutual agreement from you and your spouse, your divorce mediation lawyer will write an agreement or help you craft a shared parenting plan if that’s required by the court. Your agreement will become part of your divorce judgement, which makes it legally binding.
Contact Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP for a Consultation with a Divorce Mediation Lawyer
When a separating couple is ready to file for a divorce, they don’t have to suffer through multiple lengthy, expensive hearings in order to reach a settlement. You can avoid the uncertain outcome of a court hearing by negotiating with your spouse with help from a mediator. An experienced mediator will help you talk through your issues so you can resolve the dispute yourselves.
If you would like to resolve your divorce outside of court, then divorce mediation is a great alternative for those who are emotionally and financially capable of participating. Couples who are in the process of getting divorced in Oceanside, California, don’t have to attend their sessions alone. A seasoned divorce mediation attorney from Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can provide you with the representation you need to ensure your opinions and concerns are heard throughout the negotiation process.