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20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
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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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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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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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Posted on in Mediation

California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyDuring a divorce, it seems like the world collapses. Due to rampant negative feelings, each party becomes defensive and the “blame game” begins. If everyone remains too busy “protecting their assets” no one wins. Many couples must go before a judge to sort out the divorce details. The disadvantage with this methodology is that neither party has control over the outcome. A judge has a set of guidelines by which to adhere to divide your assets, your children, and in essence, your lives. An alternative solution that is increasing in popularity is divorce mediation.

Your’s Does Not Have to Be a Nightmare

Your divorce need not be the unpleasant experience many envision. The negative imagery remains fueled on by personal anecdotes from family members, friends, or co-workers. Remember that no two people are the same, therefore no marriage is the same, and by that measurement, no divorce is the same. Relationships are complicated and personal, and no one can accurately assess them but you and your spouse. Negotiation is possible if you would like to have a friendly divorce.

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Posted on in Property Division

California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyDuring a divorce, everything that constitutes a marriage must split into two separate lives. While this is a natural process for some couples and even for select assets, for others, the disunion is much more complicated. Occasionally, the bond that ties the two may not ever be entirely separated, such as those with children. In other scenarios, the large assets of property division are where contentions arise. The most common question asked by couples struggling with the last scenario pertains directly to the most significant investment many couples make: who gets to keep the house?

What Is the Purchase Date of the Home?

Believe it or not, the purchase date, or closing date, of a home, can make a large difference as to who gets to keep the home. Consider that California is a community property state, meaning all items purchased and investments made during the marital union all belong to both parties equally as “community property.” Anything owned before the marriage began, after filing the divorce papers, or any items earned outside of the marriage, all are “separate property.” Separate property stays with the owner after the finalization of the divorce. However, this is not a certainty as other factors may play a factor, such as mortgage payments, improvements, and maintenance. Occasionally, a separate property home becomes community property with the right investments.

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