Six Reasons Why We Are the Best Sacramento Mediation Attorneys
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Sacramento Mediation Attorney
Although divorce is never pretty, it need not escalate to the situations portrayed in media – lawyers screaming, judges calling for order, and tear-filled eyes throughout the courtroom. Rather, couples who are seeking a divorce in Sacramento, California have the option of mediating their separation. This means that, rather than present their case in a courtroom and have the judge make their decisions for them, the couple can decide on the terms and conditions of their separation together. Our mediation attorneys have helped many couples achieve satisfactory results that lead to less heartache, argumentation, and anger. We will guide you through the process with meticulous attention to detail, so that you can begin rebuilding and moving on with your life. Below we describe the basic process of mediation in California, but please do not take this as legal advice. Your situation could call for different or additional steps, which is why we offer free case evaluations so that you may speak to our legal professionals about your specific circumstance.
Difference Between Mediation, Litigation, and Arbitration in Sacramento, CA
Before we begin describing the actual steps of mediation in California, let’s clarify some of the terms that come up often when talking about divorce. Mediation is when an objective mediation attorney facilitates discussion sessions where you and your spouse negotiate the terms of your divorce. Litigation is what people typically think of as the divorce process, or going to court before a judge who acts as the primary decision-maker while your attorney advocates for you. Arbitration does not differ greatly from mediation, since it is the act of bringing in an objective third-party to oversee divorce negotiations between you and your spouse. However, arbitration can have a stricter set of rules or guidelines you must follow and the arbitrator has more decision-making power. During a mediated divorce, your mediation attorney does not have any authority to make decisions for you and your spouse. Thus, arbitration is the “middle ground” between litigation and mediation.
Is Mediation Mandatory in Sacramento, California?
Often, the judge will mandate that couples try mediation before they can go to court for their divorce. This is because mediation often results in less antagonistic, speedier outcomes. In this case, you must hire a mediation attorney and attend mediation sessions. However, if mediation is unsuccessful, you may then proceed to divorce court. If you feel for any reason that you absolutely cannot go through mediation, contact our firm to discuss your options.
Is it Better to Mediate Than to Go to Court for Divorce?
Typically, mediating your divorce is far more beneficial than going to court for several reasons.
In Sacramento, Mediation Costs Less Than Divorce Court
When you choose the route of mediation for your divorce, you can avoid several of the fees associated with going to court. Not only that, but mediation is often a much faster process, which means less expenses in the long-run. Also, you will need to hire only one mediation attorney in Sacramento, who will be shared between you and your spouse, rather than having to hire your own separate lawyer and paying the entire sum. Of course, if you feel that having your own personal divorce attorney would benefit you, you are free to hire one for yourself, which we discuss in more detail at the bottom of this article.
You Have More Control in Mediation Than In Court
Divorce mediation also gives you the biggest say in the outcomes of your divorce. Rather than a judge or an arbitrator, you will be the primary decision-maker (along with your spouse, of course). This means that if you do not like a certain decision being made, you are free to speak out against it and advocate for an alternative route. As your mediation attorney, we will always make sure that your voice is heard and that every discussion remains respectful.
Mediation is Usually Easier for You and Your Children, Emotionally and Mentally
Finally, mediation allows you to resolve your and your spouse’s differences and peaceably discuss your desires. This can give you much-needed closure and help you attain more desirable outcomes. Not only that, but it can often ease your children through the pain of divorce. It could open the door for them to express their own opinions or for you and your spouse to explain to them your reasoning behind the separation, which could help them understand and accept the situation.
Stages of Mediated Divorce in California
Mediating your divorce does have several benefits, but it is not easy. Divorce rarely is, and even in mediation you must cover every detail of your separation. Don’t worry, however. We’re here to help you through mediating child custody and support, property division, alimony, pension division, and more. Our goal is to simplify the process down into a series of steps to avoid confusion and get you through it as quickly and satisfactorily as possible. Your mediation lawyer will provide you with a checklist for your mediation, strategies for mediation sessions, and help you finalize an action plan. In every step, we will make sure that you are well-informed before you make any decisions, so that you walk into the negotiation meetings prepared and confident.
How to Choose a Mediator in Sacramento
Of course, the first step is choosing someone to act as your shared mediation attorney. Every mediator you consider should meet these basic criteria: first, they must be highly experienced working within Sacramento courtrooms specifically, so that they are knowledgeable about the city’s exact processes, regulations, and paperwork for mediation. They must be highly meticulous, organized, and innovative, so that no detail of your divorce is left uncovered. In addition, financial experience is extremely beneficial for matters such as pension division, child support, spousal support, etc. Many mediation attorneys do not possess this type of experience, but we believe that it is needed to ensure that your financial well-being is not harmed by your divorce. And, of course, they must be able to work well with people, possessing skills in negotiation, conflict mitigation, compassion, empathy, etc. Needless to say, we make sure that all mediation attorneys who join our team come with these qualities as well as their own individual and unique skill sets. To be matched with an attorney who is specialized to work with your specific situation, call us today for a free consultation.
What Happens During Mediation?
Your mediation attorney will operate as your facilitator during mediation sessions. This means that they will guide you through the discussion of each of the essential topics of divorce. First, you will present your attorney with all relevant information, such as the events leading up to the divorce, your current financial circumstances, the marital situation in the past and present, property and debts you currently possess, etc. We will help you by asking targeted questions to clarify things and ensure that everything is on the table before we begin. Then, we will use this information to help you formulate a list of the topics you must cover, as well as a schedule in which to discuss them. By following that mediation checklist, you will come to agreements with your spouse. Of course, we will help you with the discussions, since we know that they can be riddled with conflict and emotion. As you reach decisions together, we will take notes in order to draft the final settlement agreement.
Sacramento Divorce Settlement Agreements Through Mediation
This is the grand finale of divorce mediation. While you discuss each topic, we will write down each decision you come to. We will ask questions to get down to the details of each topic, leaving no room for confusion in the future. We will also ensure that you completely understand how each decision will play out for you and your children in the future so that you sign the final document with eyes wide open. Never sign the document without having your mediation attorney review the settlement agreement. We have seen many arguments arise after the agreement is finalized because they didn’t consult with their mediation attorney or they chose an attorney who was not meticulous and vigilant. Once you both have reviewed the document to your satisfaction, we will walk you through completing the small steps to finalize the divorce. Sometimes, we see couples reach conclusions together on certain topics, but come to an impasse on others. If this happens, you can always go to court just for a singular topic. However, we will do our best to ensure that this doesn’t happen and that you are able to come to an agreeable conclusion.
Will I Need a Lawyer for Mediation or Just a Divorce Mediator? Can My Divorce Lawyer Come to the Mediation Sessions?
Once you and your husband or wife agree on a shared mediation attorney, you do not have to hire a personal divorce attorney. However, we know that divorce can be a daunting process, and that having your own personal advocate could give you great comfort as well as an additional perspective. Thus, if you wish to hire your own personal attorney, feel free to do so. Note, however, that if we are acting as your shared mediation attorney, it would create a conflict of interest for an attorney from our Sacramento law firm to represent you individually. Thus, you must seek out the additional help at a different law firm.
If you would rather we help you as your personal divorce attorney rather than as your shared mediator, we can do that. Visit our divorce page for more information on how we can assist you as a divorce lawyer.
Whether or not your personal attorney can attend mediation sessions with you depends on the judge (if the mediation was mandated), the mediator, and your spouse and their attorney (if they have one) However, even if your lawyer is not allowed in the room with you during the negotiation sessions, you can always consult with them before and after.
Mediation Lawyer in Sacramento, CA
Even when choosing mediation, divorce is a difficult and emotional process. We want to help you reach a satisfactory conclusion as quickly as possible, so you can begin your new life and find happiness once again. Please, contact us for a completely free case evaluation to see if we are a good match.