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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for divorce mediationIf you have decided it is necessary to end your marriage, you may be worried about what comes next. The divorce process can be stressful, but the good news is that most couples are able to avoid a lengthy court battle and instead reach a cooperative agreement through negotiation and mediation. If you make the effort to go into the mediation process prepared, you can eliminate some of the stress and uncertainty and increase your chances of a satisfying outcome.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that may be a good choice for couples who have made the mutual decision to divorce or who are willing to cooperate to reach a resolution. Unlike a public trial, mediation occurs in private, often with only the spouses and a third-party mediator present. You and your spouse will maintain control over all decisions you make, while the mediator’s role is to remain neutral and guide constructive discussions. In addition to the benefits of privacy and control, mediation also often allows you to save money and time when compared to litigation.

Preparing for Your Mediation Appointments

You can help the mediation process go smoothly by thinking through a few questions in advance, including:

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for divorce mediationThe divorce process can be difficult to navigate, especially if you and your spouse have children together. Having challenging conversations with your children regarding the end of your marriage and resolving disputes over child custody can make a process that is already emotionally turbulent even more stressful. However, not every divorce has to come down to a hostile or aggressive battle in the courtroom. If you are willing and able to work together with your spouse to find solutions that will foster a healthy lifestyle for your child, you may want to consider divorce mediation as an alternative to litigation. 

Child Custody in California 

In the state of California, child custody is broken down into two primary forms: legal and physical custody. Legal custody provides a parent with the authority to be a part of important life decisions about matters such as children’s medical care and education. Physical custody refers to the child’s living situation, including where they will primarily reside and the amount of time they will spend with each parent. 

According to California state law, the protection of children’s health and welfare will be the court’s top priority when addressing child custody. It should also be noted that the state of California firmly believes that a child’s mental and emotional health can benefit from continued contact with both parents. The state will give both parties ample opportunities to establish a custody agreement on their own or through divorce mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will make decisions about legal and physical custody. 

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Los Gatos mediation lawyer property division child custodyThere are a wide variety of reasons why couples choose to pursue a divorce. However, even if a marriage failed because of specific conflicts, such as one spouse’s disloyalty, the couple’s financial situation, or issues with substance abuse, the divorce process itself does not have to be highly contentious. In many cases, the quickest, cheapest, and most seamless way to finalize a divorce is through divorce mediation. If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, you should speak with your attorney to discuss whether mediation will be a good fit for your situation. 

When Is Mediation the Best Option? 

Mediation is an alternative to courtroom litigation in which spouses work with a third party mediator to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce. Mediation can be used to reach compromises regarding child custody, division of property, or any other decisions that need to be made. Mediation may be the right strategy for you in the following cases:

  1. You and Your Spouse Can Remain Civil: In order for the mediation process to be effective, you and your spouse must be able to have constructive conversations regarding your divorce. While the mediator can facilitate discussions and help you understand the legal issues that must be addressed, you and your spouse must be able to work together and make compromises. If you can put aside your differences and be productive during the mediation process, it can save you significant time and money. 

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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 divorce attorney child custody mediation

The divorce process presents a unique set of challenges in each individual case. For parents, a divorce can significantly alter their relationships with their children. In many cases, divorcing parents will be fighting for custody of their children, and as this battle for custody takes place, many parents forget what should truly be at the forefront of the conversation: what is best for the children. In many cases, mediation can be used to resolve these issues amicably while keeping children’s best interests in mind.

The Benefits of Mediation in Child Custody Cases

During the mediation process, divorcing parents will work together with a neutral mediator to reach an agreement about child custody and visitation. Mediation can provide many benefits, including:

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