A divorce is typically one of the most difficult experiences in a person’s life. It is often a contentious and protracted process, but it does not need to be. If you are going through the dissolution process or are contemplating a divorce, it is important to seek the help of a skilled Orange County divorce mediation lawyer. With over 20 years of experience, the divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz are ready to help couples resolve a divorce and related issues through mediation when appropriate.Understanding the Divorce Mediation Process
Divorce mediation is a voluntary procedure in which qualified mediators direct you through the dissolution process in a non-hostile way. It involves a neutral setting in which dialogue is used to settle important issues in a divorce, such as custody, child and spousal support, move-away issues, temporary agreements, cohabitation agreements, and property division.
In each divorce mediation case, there is a mediator to facilitate the discussion. A mediator is a neutral third party who assists with the process in accordance with the California Family Code. The mediator is impartial and thus does not make any recommendations regarding any of the issues. Instead, the mediator simply helps each party understand the other party’s position and the implications of various potential options.
In California, the minimum time frame for a divorce to be finalized is six months from the time that the petition is filed. The time frame for mediation will differ in each case, depending on the circumstances of that case. However, mediation is typically much less time-consuming and costly than going to court.
When the parties come to an agreement, it is codified into a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). Each party should have their own attorney review the MSA on their behalf. The MSA and other required documents are then filed with the court, resulting in a full legal divorce.
It is important to be aware that agreements made in mediation are legally binding, provided that the documents are properly drafted and signed by all of the parties. Once a judge signs an MSA, it becomes an Order of the Court, which means that it is binding, just as if you had appeared in court and received a judgment.
While mediation is a powerful tool for many couples, it does not necessarily work for everyone. If your spouse and you are unable to agree during the mediation process, you will likely need to go to court to finalize the divorce and resolve any related issues.Consult a Divorce Mediation Lawyer in Orange County
At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, our diligent Orange County divorce mediation attorneys are committed to facilitating the mediation process for our clients. We understand that emotions may run high in these situations, but reducing the acrimony in the process often serves everyone’s goals in the long term. We represent people in cities such as Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach. To set up an appointment with a divorce or child custody attorney, you can reach us by phone at 949-735-9266 or contact us online.