When most people imagine divorce, they think of heated court battles and each of the divorcing spouses bitterly fighting for everything they possibly can in their divorce proceedings. While divorce can be a stressful and emotionally charged issue, it does not have to be an ugly battle. Divorce mediation offers an accessible and effective alternative to divorce litigation. When you choose this resolution method over conventional litigation, you can enjoy several significant benefits while expediting your divorce process.
Negotiation And Resolution In A Private, Non-Confrontational Setting
Mediation is a confidential dispute resolution forum that provides numerous advantages over litigation, including the ability to maintain the parties’ privacy; avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of litigation; and devise creative solutions that satisfy unusual needs and circumstances. It is also a valuable way to minimize the emotional burden of divorce and to preserve fragile family relationships.
At The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
We assist clients in Orange County and Riverside County, California, in resolving divorce and post-divorce issues through mediation. Backed by more than 30 years of experience and a record of success, our attorneys can act as neutral mediators to facilitate the mediation process, or we can represent individuals who need advice, information and counsel before and after the mediation session.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County divorce mediation attorney.
The Mediation Process
In mediation, both parties work with a neutral mediator to negotiate an amicable settlement in a strictly confidential setting. The mediator does not represent either party and does not make any final decision in the matter. His or her role is to facilitate discussion and to assist the parties in coming to a resolution, usually by sending offers of settlement back and forth between the parties.
While neither spouse can have an attorney present during the mediation, it is often beneficial for each to consult with a lawyer before and after the mediation session. An experienced attorney can help you strategize prior to the mediation, and he or she can review the mediated settlement to ensure that your rights and interests are protected prior to finalization of the agreement.
Our firm founder, Dorie A. Rogers, is certified as a family law specialist by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, a certification bestowed on a small percentage of California family law attorneys who have completed a rigorous certification process and demonstrated the highest standards of legal competence. She has decades of experience helping clients reach mediated settlements that provide the entire family with a sense of peace and stability.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation takes place in a neutral space without the pressure of the courtroom environment. You and your spouse may have your legal representatives with you during each of your sessions with the mediator, or your attorneys may only be present for some of these sessions. The mediator’s job is to keep the conversation focused, answer legal questions, and help the divorcing couple clarify any uncertainty in their discussions from a neutral perspective. Some of the best benefits of choosing the mediation process over litigation include:
- Expediency. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are willing to negotiate and compromise, the mediation process can take a fraction of the time that litigation would require. You can secure your divorce decree much more quickly if you can mediate your divorce efficiently. However, you must still meet the waiting period required under California state law as it applies to your case.
- Savings. Litigation costs time and money, and legal fees can add up very quickly if your divorce case requires multiple court sessions. Mediation, on the other hand, only requires as many sessions as you need. If you successfully reach mutually agreeable divorce terms through mediation, you will likely spend a small fraction of what you might have spent on litigation costs.
- Privacy. When you litigate your divorce, your divorce proceedings become public record, and any details that arise during litigation will be entered into the official record for your case. Mediation takes place privately. The divorcing couple negotiates their own divorce agreement. Once completed, a judge will review and approve it and grant the divorce under California state law, allowing the divorcing couple to effectively keep the details of their divorce private.
- Control. When you litigate your divorce, the judge has the final say on matters such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. When you mediate your divorce, you and your spouse control the outcome of your agreement. You can also address your unique issues that would typically fall outside the bounds of strict legal doctrines and statutes that a judge may invoke during litigation. Mediation allows you to maintain control over your divorce negotiations instead of leaving the major decisions that will impact you for years in the hands of a judge who has little to no understanding of the unique personal issues involved in your marriage.
- Completeness. The divorce mediation process aims to cover as much ground as possible as efficiently as possible in divorce proceedings. If a litigated divorce resolves with a skewed ruling, or if one of the spouses is unsatisfied with the judge’s decision, the couple may need to return to court repeatedly for post-judgment motions and adjustments to their divorce agreement. Since mediation allows major decisions about divorce to remain in the hands of the divorcing couple, it’s much more likely for them to cover all the ground they need to cover thanks to their familiarity with their own circumstances. It’s also possible to mediate proposed changes to a divorce agreement in the future.
Ultimately, no one knows your marriage better than you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, so leaving complex decisions involving your divorce up to a judge can feel like a losing situation for both of you. Mediation is faster, more comprehensive, easier to manage, and only costs as much as you need to reach agreeable terms for your divorce.
Once you and your spouse have negotiated your divorce through mediation, the agreement you have developed will then pass to the family court system for final review and approval. As long as there are no glaring issues with the agreement you and your spouse have developed, a judge should grant the divorce with the stipulations you have agreed upon.
What to Expect From Your Mediator
A divorce mediator is typically a court-appointed or third-party attorney who acts as the neutral overseer for your divorce negotiations. Meetings with a mediator may take place at the mediator’s office or another mutually agreeable location. The mediator’s utmost responsibility is to maintain impartiality and to guide the discussion in constructive ways.
Your mediator should be able to answer any questions you might have about the divorce mediation process succinctly. The mediator should help you and your spouse negotiate the various aspects of your divorce as they apply to California state law. For example, if you and your spouse must develop a child custody agreement and parenting plan for your children, the mediator can help you address any potential issues with your proposed plan. This can increase the chances of it securing approval from a judge in finalizing your divorce.
It’s important to remember that a mediator may not show favoritism to one spouse over the other. If, during your mediation sessions, it seems as though the mediator is skewing in favor of your spouse, raise your concerns. There could be legal statutes that apply to your situation of which you are unaware, and the mediator can clarify these issues so you can understand the process more fully.
Certified Family Law Specialist In Newport Beach
Divorce mediation ultimately provides a faster, less expensive, and less stressful way to settle your divorce as amicably as possible. Even couples divorcing for personal reasons with deep-seated emotional issues can take advantage of divorce mediation with the right legal representation. While it may be hard to imagine civilized negotiation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, approaching divorce mediation with reliable legal representation and a firm understanding of the process can help you reach a divorce decree much more quickly than you might expect.
The Law Office of Dorie A. Rogers is available to help if you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits of divorce mediation in Orange County. To learn more about divorce mediation, please contact The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC, at 714-602-1492 to schedule a consultation.
“Dorie is a very powerful attorney and a great asset to have on your side in any family legal matter. She is extremely bright and insightful, and I got everything I asked for in my lawsuit.”
“I would strongly recommend Ms. Dorie Rogers for any legal needs. During my Divorce proceedings, Dorie’s professionalism, expertise in Divorce Law and legal skill helped bring my case to a close in both a timely and mutually agreeable manner.
Additionally, Dorie took the time to understand me and my background to better represent me in my case. She showed a level of caring and concern that helped me through a very difficult time. She is an outstanding lawyer and wonderful person.”
“Second to none – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dorie to anyone. She was my attorney for my divorce and custody case. She will do everything it takes to get the job done and all with a smile on her face. Her knowledge and expertise will assist anyone in a family law situation get the results they want.”