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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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Los Gatos, CA spousal support attorneyGoing through a divorce can be a stressful process, especially if you are unsure about your financial future after your marriage has ended. If you have been reliant on your spouse’s income during your marriage, or if you have been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time, you may be uncertain about your ability to provide for yourself after your marriage has ended. Fortunately, you may be able to receive spousal support that will allow you to maintain financial stability. 

Spousal Support in California 

When a couple gets a divorce, one spouse may be required to pay the other spouse an amount of financial support each month. These payments are known as spousal support or alimony. Spousal support can be ordered by the court in a litigated case, or spouses may use negotiation or mediation to agree on an amount that will be paid.

In the state of California, there are a number of factors taken into consideration when determining whether spousal support should be awarded. These factors are specified in California Family Code Section 4320. Most notably, the court will consider the length of the marriage, the standard of living each spouse became accustomed to during the marriage, and the age and general health of both spouses. Other considerations include whether employment would hinder a custodial parent from raising their children and whether a spouse did not work during the marriage because they were fulfilling child care duties or other family responsibilities. Any history of domestic violence during the marriage may also affect decisions about spousal support. 

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Los Gatos divorce mediation attorneyDivorce mediation can be an excellent avenue for couples to reach compromises on the various issues that must be addressed in order to dissolve their marriage. Since courtroom litigation can cost both parties valuable time and money, mediation is a popular alternative, and it can allow a couple to address and resolve each individual aspect of their divorce with the help of a trained and licensed mediator. While divorce mediation can be beneficial for divorcing couples and their children, there are times when the process can stall, and in some cases, it may fail altogether, requiring spouses to find alternative ways of resolving their disputes.

Signs That Mediation Is Not Working For You 

Mediation can take some time to complete, especially when you need to address multiple complex issues related to your children, your property, and your finances. However, there are a number of signs that the mediation process has broken down and is not working. For example, one spouse may consistently make personal attacks during mediation, use mediation time to voice frustration and anger over the divorce, or refuse to remain on topic when discussing issues. If you have spent a number of hours in mediation and have failed to reach an agreement on many of the remaining issues that you need to resolve, it may be time to pursue an alternative resolution strategy. 

What Are My Options? 

If you and your spouse are finding the mediation process difficult, you may want to consider taking a break before resuming discussions. In many cases, stepping away from the process can provide a new perspective for both parties, and this can lead to more constructive discussions at a later date. If you feel unhappy with the process because of the compromises you are required to make, you should take a look at whether your spouse is also making compromises. If it seems as though you are the only one who is willing to give any ground, and your spouse is refusing to meet you halfway, then you may need to find other alternatives for resolving your disputes. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer for mediationWhen you make the difficult decision to end your marriage, the coming months can be stressful and tumultuous as you work out the details of your divorce. However, the divorce process does not have to be a heated and contentious battle. While you and your spouse are likely to disagree on at least some of the issues that you will need to resolve, you may be able to complete your divorce amicably. If you believe that the two of you can work together to compromise and reach agreements, it may be wise to consider divorce mediation

The Benefits of Divorce Mediation 

During mediation, you and your spouse will work with a professional mediator to negotiate an agreement on all of the outstanding issues in your divorce, including spousal support, child support, child custody, and the allocation of marital assets. While divorce mediation may not be an option in situations in which one spouse has committed abuse or domestic violence, in the vast majority of divorces, mediation can be an effective dispute resolution method, and it can provide the following benefits:

  • A faster and more efficient divorce process: It is no secret that litigation in court can prolong a divorce. Resolving matters in the courtroom may be necessary in highly contested divorces, but in many cases, it adds a great deal of time and expense to the divorce process. If you are able to work together with your spouse to reach mutually agreeable decisions, divorce mediation can save you time and money. The mediator will walk you through each area of your divorce and help you negotiate a resolution to these matters. If you cannot reach an agreement on certain issues, litigation is still an option. 

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Los Gatos, CA divorce mediation attorneyThere are many details to work out during a divorce. Unfortunately, some couples end up in a cycle of litigation in which no one really wins. Arguments about custody, property, child support, alimony, etc. can result in both parties running up major attorney’s fees and court costs. Rather than fighting out every little thing through the legal process, some couples may be able to save a lot of money and stress in the long run by opting for mediation.

Avoid Wasting Time and Money on Litigation

When you and your partner decide to call it quits, dividing marital property and agreeing on what is best for your children can sometimes be complicated. Even if both parties mean well, which is not always the case, the divorce can end up dragging on and on, causing unnecessary stress and huge expenses.

If you and your soon-to-be-ex cannot reach an agreement on some things, it may be time to hire a mediator. A mediator can take on one issue at a time and help the two of you work out decisions that are fair to both of you. This can greatly reduce the time and money needed to complete your divorce, since going through the courts to resolve every little disagreement can take years and cost thousands of dollars.

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Los Gatos CA divorce mediation lawyer child custodyIn the heat of the divorce proceedings, sometimes one parent is willing to do just about anything to hurt the other parent. In other cases, one parent may have legitimate concerns about their child’s health and safety when they are in the care of the other parent, and they may be willing to fight for months or years to protect their child. When there is a custody disagreement, mediation can ease the financial and emotional burden on all parties involved by allowing parents to take a more personal approach to resolving their disputes while saving time and money by not dragging matters out in the courtroom.

What Is the Purpose of a Mediator?

Divorce mediation is designed to bring parents together and help them settle on a parenting plan that will work for their individual situation. A mediator assists in facilitating agreements and provides the necessary information to both sides to help them come to an agreement. An attorney experienced in mediation knows the laws but also understands the human, emotional part of parenting during and after a divorce. It can be difficult to see past one’s own anger and fears during a divorce, and as a neutral third party, a mediator can advocate for the child or children involved, working to overcome the parents’ emotional disputes. 

Litigation in court is clinical and impersonal, and it can become drawn out and expensive when resolving custody and visitation matters. Mediation allows parents to work together to reach an agreement that they can both be satisfied with. However, if mediation lasts a long time, and either or both parents still refuse to come to terms, a mediator can provide an assessment and recommendations to the court. This often helps the judge to make a more informed decision that is in the children’s best interests.

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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