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Mediation and Litigation
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California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyThe dissolution of a marriage is a stressful process for a family. While mediation is supposed to ease some of the difficulties associated with divorce litigation in court, sometimes getting both spouses to agree to mediation can present its own issues.

Deciding to use mediation is one of the first of many decisions you and your estranged spouse will have to make, so it is no wonder that it presents a stumbling block for many couples. If you believe that mediation is a good fit, but your spouse is not as sure, there are several things you can do.

Get to the Root of the Problem

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Posted on in Paternity

California paternity lawyer, California mediation attorneyA presumed biological father is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. For many families who have alternate circumstances, establishing paternity becomes a necessity later in life. The most common event requiring a biological link is if the two parents separate. Without definitive parentage, issues arise regarding visitation and custody schedules, as well as financial support arrangements. The process to create a court-recognized parental line can be quickly completed. However, this process can also become difficult and drawn-out without cooperation and preparation.

The Hard Way

When choosing which news to receive first, 75 percent of Americans prefer to hear the bad news first. Armed with this fun fact, let us discuss the hard way of establishing parentage. Typically, parentage cases are complicated only when one side is making a dispute. In cases such as these, it may become necessary to go before a judge. Often the judge creates an order for a DNA test to determine the truth of the matter. There are many reasons to keep the issues away from the courts, including:

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California mediation attorney, CaIifornia annulment lawyerAnnulment is a term many people have heard, but in legal practice annulments are rare. Still, if your marriage qualifies for an annulment, it could change many things about the dissolution of your marriage.

An annulment is granted when the parties wish to end their marriage, and a court determines that the marriage was never valid and never existed. A divorce is granted when the parties wish to end their marriage, and the marriage was validly entered into.

A marriage can always be annulled if there is incest or bigamy. Incest happens when spouses are close blood relatives. Bigamy is when a spouse is already married to someone else when he or she marries a second time.

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Posted on in Mediation

California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerIf you and your spouse have decided you want a mediator to handle your divorce, the first step you must undertake is selecting a San Jose divorce mediator. This is an important decision because it will set the tone for the entire process.

Determine the mediator’s style.

There are many styles of mediators. While there is no “right style,” there is a right fit between mediator and divorcing couple. Asking the mediator what his or her style is can help you pick a mediator. For example, some mediators guide the discussion by asking questions and making deferential comments, which allows the divorcing clients to reach their own decisions. Other mediators provide firmer guidance with proposals based on how a court would likely resolve the issue.

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California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyerWhen a pet-owning couple goes through a divorce, which spouse retains custody of the animals can be a contentious issue. While many people consider pets to be part of the family, California law considers pets to be property.

California has many laws on child custody, but it has no laws that specifically govern what happens to pets when owners divorce. For this reason, a court will not rule on a custody agreement for animals the way it would if there are children involved. Instead, it may consider the pet to be an asset of the marriage, much the same way a car or computer would be considered.

Because of this, many people find that mediation is a better way to resolve pet custody issues. With mediation, the parties are not bound to treat their divorce the same way a court would. In mediation, a pet would not automatically be classified as property. Rather, a pet’s best interest and well-being could be considered. In a mediation, a pet would be treated as a member of the family who is also affected by the changes that come with divorce.

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