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Mediation and Litigation
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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 mediation attorney

Every year, thousands of American couples make the challenging decision to pursue a divorce. While most couples view divorce as a complicated process that will likely have to be resolved in court, other methods of resolving divorce-related conflicts are continually growing in popularity. Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution strategy in which the two parties work together with a professional mediator to reach a divorce settlement. Mediation can be used to address issues such as child custody, property division, and spousal support payments. While mediation can be the most optimal strategy for resolving the outstanding issues in your divorce, mistakes can be made during the mediation process. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your mediation goes as smoothly as possible:

  • Find the Right Mediator: Mediation can be a fantastic alternative to litigation in court, allowing a couple to resolve conflicts while a professional mediator facilitates the discussions and guides the parties toward a mutually agreeable compromise. In order for this process to work as well as possible, you and your spouse need to find the right mediator for you. Basic qualities you should look for in a mediator include experience and knowledge of your state’s divorce laws. On a personal level, you want to find a mediator that will be compassionate and understanding of both parties’ perspectives. 

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Los Gatos, CA family law attorney for spousal supportFollowing divorce, one spouse may be entitled to receive financial support from their former partner that will help them maintain their standard of living. When a spousal support agreement is established either during mediation or a court hearing, the spouse receiving payments should be able to rest assured that they will receive this court-ordered support. Spousal support payments can be critically important in ensuring that a person is able to live a financially healthy and independent life following divorce. However, there are some cases in which a paying spouse does not meet their obligations to make these payments on time or in full. It is paramount that you speak with a qualified family law attorney if you are not receiving the agreed-upon payments from your former spouse. 

Securing Your Spousal Support Payments 

Under California law, an automatic wage assignment is created when a spousal support order is established. This will ensure that the amount of support is deducted from the paying spouse’s income (known as wage garnishment). However, divorcing spouses may choose to have the automatic wage assignment stayed, and they may make other arrangements for paying spousal support. 

If a wage assignment has been stayed in your case, there are a number of reasons why your former spouse may fail to make spousal support payments. However, even if he or she has experienced financial difficulties due to loss of employment or a medical condition that has affected his or her ability to work, you still have the right to look into options for enforcing the payment of support. Typically, the first step you and your attorney should take is identifying why the payments are not being made. If your ex-spouse is in fact unable to work, you may be able to work together with him or her to reach an agreement that temporarily lowers the amount of payments or suspends the support for a certain period of time. In these cases, you should be sure that your ex-spouse is aware of your willingness to take the matter to court if the full amount of support payments is not resumed at the conclusion of the suspension. 

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Los Gatos divorce attorney for spousal support and alimonyWhen a couple makes the decision to pursue a divorce, both parties will face drastic changes in their life. For many people, the end of their marriage may threaten their financial security. If one spouse has conventionally brought in more income than the other, the other spouse may have difficulty maintaining their accustomed standard of living following the separation. Because of this, many divorcing spouses who earn less than their former partner will elect to pursue some level of spousal support. In cases involving spousal support, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you make sure you will be able to live a financially sustainable and healthy lifestyle. 

How Is Permanent Spousal Support Established? 

Commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support is is paid by one former spouse to the other. It is intended to ensure that both spouses will be able to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed while married, and it can also help the lower-earning spouse meet their needs while they work to become financially independent. In the state of California, spousal support is established through in-depth consideration of a number of factors, including the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the supported party’s ability to secure employment. Spouses may be able to agree on an amount of alimony that will be paid, or a judge may order a certain amount of spousal support to be paid for a specific period of time.

How a Lawyer Can Assist With Spousal Support

During the divorce process, an attorney may help address spousal support in the following ways:

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Los Gatos post-divorce enforcement lawyerThere is no way around the fact that a divorce can be an emotionally challenging process. Separating from the person you once loved can be one of the hardest times in your life. It is extremely important to approach your divorce with some level of professionalism. Your divorce settlement can ultimately dictate the future of your family’s living situation, as well as your financial security. The first and most important step you can take as you prepare for divorce is hiring an attorney who will work cooperatively with you to represent your best interests. In addition, you should be aware of some common mistakes to avoid during the divorce process that could have an impact on your financial security. 

Lack of Preparation

As you prepare to negotiate a divorce settlement, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation and be as prepared as possible. If one spouse managed the collective finances, it can be hard to understand what to protect. This means that you and your attorney need to collect documents such as tax returns and mortgage papers to completely understand the nature and extent of the community property assets and debts. 

Another step in the preparation process is to update any financial documents, such as wills, investment beneficiaries, or life insurance accounts. You should also be sure to separate all joint financial accounts. 

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