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Mediation and Litigation
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CA family lawyerThe end of a marriage can be a difficult, stressful time, and resolving the legal issues that must be addressed during divorce can be a complicated undertaking. In many cases, couples choose to use mediation to reach an agreement on these issues, allowing them to avoid the financial and emotional costs of fighting their battles in court. However, the mediation process is often misunderstood, and people are not always aware of the pros and cons of divorce mediation. Here are some common myths about mediation:

  • A mediator will decide in one spouse’s favor - During mediation, couples will work together with the mediator, who serves as a neutral third party, helping them reach an agreement. The mediator cannot make any decisions; instead, they will help spouses understand the legal issues that must be addressed and work to reach mutually agreeable compromises.
  • Couples cannot consult with their attorney or other experts during mediation - During mediation, each spouse can speak to their own attorney, who can help them understand their rights and provide legal advice about the decisions they make. Spouses can also work together or separately with outside experts such as accountants or appraisers to ensure that they fully understand issues related to their finances and the property they own.
  • All outstanding issues must be resolved during mediation - Spouses may be able to address and agree on many of the issues involved in their divorce, such as the division of property, child custody, or spousal support, but there may be situations in which an agreement cannot be reached in some issues. In these cases, spouses can incorporate the decisions they have made into their divorce settlement while asking the court to make a decision on any outstanding issues.
  • Mediation is always preferable to litigation - While mediation can be beneficial for many couples, it will usually only be helpful if spouses are willing to work together and compromise with each other. If one or both spouses refuse to budge on certain issues, they may derail the mediation process, reducing or eliminating the benefits that mediation can provide.

Contact a Los Gatos Divorce Mediation Attorney

If you are considering divorce, the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca can help you understand whether mediation is the best solution for you, and we can work with you and your spouse to address your legal issues and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. If you are unable to resolve your divorce issues through mediation, we can provide you with dedicated representation throughout the divorce process, ensuring that your rights and best interests are protected. Contact a Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer today at 408-395-8822 to schedule a free consultation.

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Posted on in Mediation

California divorce lawyerDivorce is rarely an easy decision, but when couples take steps to end their marriage, they are likely ready to leave a relationship that is not working and move on to the next stage of their lives. However, the process of divorce can be incredibly complex, and people are often unprepared for the costs involved in the legal process of dissolving their marriage. However, if couples are willing to work together to reach a resolution, they may be able to use mediation, which can allow them to complete the process more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Divorce mediation provides the following benefits:

  1. Cost savings - Litigating a divorce in court can be incredibly costly. Each spouse will typically need to hire an attorney, and they will be required to pay for the time their lawyer spends preparing documents, communicating with the other spouse’s lawyer, discussing the case with them, and attending court. When using a mediator, however, the couple will typically split the fees for mediation sessions or any other services the mediator provides (such as preparing documents), and mediation can result in savings of 40-60% over the costs a divorce completed through litigation.

  2. Time savings - A litigated divorce can be a lengthy process, requiring multiple court dates that depend on the availability of the spouses, their attorneys, and the judge. In contrast, mediation allows a couple to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce (including the division of property and decisions regarding child custody and visitation schedules) in a much faster and more efficient manner.

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California divorce lawyerThe divorce rate is so high and the cost of divorce litigation so expensive that there is in both California and the broader United States a divorce economy. Specifically, the divorce rate in California is a whopping 60 percent – twenty percent higher than the national average. The cost of divorce litigation is, at the low end, $40,000 per spouse.

In Orange County, 371 miles south of Los Gatos, attorney’s fees alone for 31 recent divorce filing ran on averaged an astonishing $150,000 per spouse. Not only that, but for each child custody evaluation flowing from the filings, California taxpayers picked up a $10,000 bill. If you are in the process of divorce or merely contemplating divorce and your head is now reeling from the potential financial toll, know that mediation is an alternative to divorce that has helped many Californians save both money and stress. With the help of an experienced Cupertino/Los Gatos divorce and mediation attorney, you can work to avoid costly litigation.

The Road to Trial Is Long and Costly

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b2ap3_thumbnail_mediation_20171101-034651_1.jpgCalifornia custody lawyerTelevision and film are rich with depictions of litigation, courtrooms, and righteous legal prose. In film, there are the many adaptations of novels written by author John Grisham, including The Firm, The Client, and The Pelican Brief, among others. On television, there are How to Get Away With Murder, Suits, and, perhaps the all-time most well-known show, Law and Order. A common thread among all these many narratives is the element of confrontation.

The reason for this commonality is the adversarial nature of litigation. Whether between a state prosecutor and a local criminal defense attorney or between a tort litigator and the defense counsel in a civil court, the parties are fighting for the outcome that best serves their interests. As human beings, we are wired to be interested in competition and conflict in the social world, as these activities have much to with power – a resource central to so many of the activities of society, whether in the U.S. or abroad. An experienced Los Gatos mediation attorney, however, knows that mediation and compromise may succeed where competition and conflict fail.

Bay Area Wealth and Property Values Bear on Matters of Mediation

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California mediation lawyer, California divorce attorneyPerhaps you are in the middle of divorce conversations. Maybe you were just served divorce papers out of the blue when you thought everything in your marriage was normal. Maybe you finally have had enough and are ready to call it quits but have not dropped that bomb on your significant other. In any of these situations, it is very likely that you have questions and are out exploring information. Even if you have gone through a divorce before, the culture and the divorce experience itself have changed and become something of a healing process. Yes, the marriage is over, but the split does not have to be emotionally scarring. Many couples that choose divorce are opting to go with the “friendly” divorce option, known as divorce mediation.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a divorce option where, instead of going in front of a judge to have them iron out the details of your divorce, you and your spouse, together with your mediator, sit down in a room together and decide what works best for you and your situation.

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