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Mediation and Litigation
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California family law attorney, California mediation lawyerMany children grow up envisioning their wedding day, dressed up as a prince or princess and marrying the person of their dreams. With today’s family dynamics coupled with a high divorce rate, this dream shatters, and many are left in an alternate situation. Perhaps they find their soulmate, the person with whom they are intended to travel through life. However, a growing number of couples choose to cohabitate rather than legally tie the knot. A common reasoning for choosing to remain legally separate is that “there is no need if what we have is good; marriage is just a piece of paper.” However, that “piece of paper” can make life easier down the road and provide protection because eventually, all good love stories come to an end, be it through natural death or separation. If your ending to a long-term relationship is a breakup, what are your options for property division or child custody? One great solution is divorce mediation.

A House Divided

Those who choose to cohabitate in California are not under any protection from a common law marriage that couples in other states enjoy. California has no such laws; if you never made it legal, the union never existed. With that said, no one enters into a committed long-term relationship knowing or even hoping that it will fail. If we all were able to see into the future, perhaps we would choose the marriage option to make a separation easier to navigate under the divorce laws of the state. Since divorce litigation is not an option, there are alternatives to assist splitting couples who were never married. One such example is mediation. This solution supports those who wish to guide their post-relationship agreement without the inclusion of a judge. Together, with the assistance of a mediator, you and your now ex can work out a legal agreement for all of the pieces of your lives together. Benefits of mediation include:

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Posted on in Mediation

California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerWhen a couple determines divorce is necessary, often the idea of a long and drawn-out divorce litigation trial immediately comes to mind. Although a significant portion of the population turns to this divorce option quickly, most of the time this is because they are unaware of the other options available. In California, it seems everyone is looking to find a way to make divorce not only more affordable but also less traumatic. One such option is known as divorce mediation.

Alternative Methods to Divorce

There are multiple methods available for divorce options; each is a bit different from the last, but all have the same outcome: divorce. With these options, it is likely you will find an option that best suits your end goals. These methods are:

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California divorce attorney, California family law attorneyMarriage is as much a legal contract as it is a romantic union. Together, you make a sacred vow that is intended to last a lifetime. In many marriages, sexual exclusivity is a significant portion of that agreement. One partner choosing to stray beyond the boundaries of the union jeopardizes the deal. In other legal controversies, a breach of contract may result in restitution. In the realm of divorce and family law, does infidelity mean that the victim in the situation is owed damages through the form of spousal support?

Even Ground

California understands that not everyone will agree on everything, which is why lawmakers made divorce possible even if one side refuses to let go of the marriage. The state is also a “no-fault” state, which means that you do not need to have a reason other than irreconcilable differences with your spouse to leave. Based on this arrangement, everyone is equal regardless of any perceived transgressions, including cheating. Therefore, if taken to court for alimony payments, the judge will not take behavior into consideration. Factors that do influence the awarded permanent spousal support are:

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California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyThe dissolution of a marriage is a stressful process for a family. While mediation is supposed to ease some of the difficulties associated with divorce litigation in court, sometimes getting both spouses to agree to mediation can present its own issues.

Deciding to use mediation is one of the first of many decisions you and your estranged spouse will have to make, so it is no wonder that it presents a stumbling block for many couples. If you believe that mediation is a good fit, but your spouse is not as sure, there are several things you can do.

Get to the Root of the Problem

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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity lawyer, California mediation attorneyA presumed biological father is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. For many families who have alternate circumstances, establishing paternity becomes a necessity later in life. The most common event requiring a biological link is if the two parents separate. Without definitive parentage, issues arise regarding visitation and custody schedules, as well as financial support arrangements. The process to create a court-recognized parental line can be quickly completed. However, this process can also become difficult and drawn-out without cooperation and preparation.

The Hard Way

When choosing which news to receive first, 75 percent of Americans prefer to hear the bad news first. Armed with this fun fact, let us discuss the hard way of establishing parentage. Typically, parentage cases are complicated only when one side is making a dispute. In cases such as these, it may become necessary to go before a judge. Often the judge creates an order for a DNA test to determine the truth of the matter. There are many reasons to keep the issues away from the courts, including:

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