Why Divorce Mediation Is Better Than Litigation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange CountyThe decision on whether one should settle your divorce case through mediation or litigation will depend on individual circumstances of every case. There are many cases when the two parties can sit together and negotiate their settlement details through mediation.  However, there are other cases where mediation becomes a futile exercise and the two parties fail to. You can else enter into a deal with the come to any amicable settlement.

Mediation is a cost-effective technique to resolve the differences in a divorce in some circumstances. But there are other circumstances when one of the parties or both of them need to approach a court to get the desired outcomes.

Merits of settling a divorce case

Settlement offers a host of benefits as compared to a divorce lawsuit or a legal dispute. Here are some of them.

Stress

It is possible to reduce stressful situations to some extent by opting for a settlement as compared to going for a trial or litigation.  The latter may have unexpected outcomes and both parties may not like to stand on a witness stand in the court and share their private stories with the judge in front of many people. Additionally, they may not like the prospect of being cross-examined by the lawyer for the other party.

Less expensive

When the parties opt for a trial, the process involves experts, attorneys, time, travel, witnesses among others. In case a case can be settled prior to going on a trial, several such expenses are drastically reduced or removed altogether.

More predictable as compared to trial

Any good divorce lawyer will mention that the decision of a jury is not quite predictable. In comparison, you can declare your terms for the divorce settlement agreements. You can also enter into a deal either the other party, which is acceptable to both of you.

Privacy

If you opt for settling your case, many of its details are not included in the court documents. They are not treated as public records; clause god confidentiality is included in several court documents.

Sense of finality prevails

If a couple opts for litigation, the party that lists the case has a right to appeal against the judgment made by a court. Thus, the divorce process may drag on for several months. On the other hand, a settlement is not usually appealed.

When is it better to opt for litigation?

When either both the parties or one of them do not agree to settle or refuses to come to a negotiating table then a lawsuit can become imperative at other times when a plaintiff needs to settle his or her sense of what is wrong and what is right, they may opt for a legal proceeding.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Lawyer Or Mediator? Which One Should You Opt For During Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsDivorces can be complicated matters and getting caught in the middle of legal problems is common. some people try avoiding divorce cases by going through a mediation first.  A divorce mediator helps couples either negotiate divorce settlements or resolve issues that leads to the dissolution of marriage.

However, divorce mediation is not appropriate in all situations.  For certain cases where domestic abuse or some kind of crime is involved, courts often start divorce proceedings without a mediation. But it can be confusing for people who are stuck in between and don’t know whether to hire a lawyer or a mediator.

When does mediation work?

California courts always favor divorce mediations and alternatives to divorce because it saves them for going into complicated cases. They can instead focus on more pressing matters. It is the reason why courts ask couples to go through a mediation process before the divorce is finalized.

Mediation processes are successful when the idea of a divorce is mutual and both parties understand what it means for them. Divorce mediations are useful when the couples are open to comprise without any emotional attachment.

Mediation is a powerful process and many marriages have worked out after couples went through a mediation process.

When does going to a lawyer work?

Divorce mediations are absolutely necessary but in some cases, they are not required. In cases where clear signs of domestic abuse or child abuse is involved, mediation is unnecessary. In other cases, where the court feels that a mediation is waste of time, divorce proceedings are directly handled by lawyers. Sometimes, mediators and lawyers are the same person and the roles are intertwined. For such lawyers, it becomes easy to do both without the client or the courts interference.

Conclusion

Since divorces can become ugly, mediation processes that can potentially save the marriage is often used to pacify issues between the couple. Mediation processes work best when both parties are ready to reach a common ground where they can work out things. Often, it helps save their marriage. Divorce mediations also help couples who aren’t too emotional or touchy about the dissolution of their marriage.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

All You Need to Know About California Child Custody Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsThe Orange County Family Law local rules as well as the broader California laws require a mandatory child custody mediation to be set before a court hearing at which a court order or modification to an earlier court order pertaining to child custody and visitation take place.

Moreover, if a parent fails to turn up for a child custody mediation session without having valid reasons for his or her absence once or repeatedly, he or she may be prevented from being heard further on the issues of child custody and visitation. If it goes to the hearing stage, it may become extremely difficult for the absentee parent to explain their stand.

Custody issues are often the hardest to settle and can’t be settled under premarital agreement settlements since the right of a child belongs exclusively to the child themselves and their best interests would be held paramount by all courts.

Although a mediator can’t be decisions like a judge or an arbitrator, they can definitely propel the discussion between the two parties forward and create a peaceful environment under which discussions can be held, even for such spouses who have come out of an acrimonious relationship and don’t see eye to eye. A mediator plays a vital role and his intervention is often the only reason why a discussion goes forward.

How to prepare for child custody mediation 

In order to prepare for child custody mediation, try to gather as much evidence or relevant information about your child that would help you while presenting your side of the argument or making your proposals.

One important step is to understand your custody rights and obligations from an experienced and licensed attorney. You can also prepare and present a list of daily schedules for yourself and your child that would convey how emotionally and personally invested you are in the growth and welfare of your child.  You should also present your child custody and visitation proposal during the mediation process after taking advice from your attorney.

You will also need to come to an agreement with the other parent for deciding the scheduled visits and where to drop and pick up the child from and also special occasions or moments in the child’s life when they would expect both their parents to gather.

You may also do well to get an understanding of some commonly used legal phraseology or jargon that may be thrown around during the mediation discussions. Consult your attorney and prepare yourself accordingly.

In order to prepare for the child custody meetings, be honest and think, if you are really capable of taking care of your child. At all points, their interests will be to be kept in mind. Be compassionate towards the other party and you may be able to reach a mediation agreement regarding to your child easily.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Mediation For Younger Couples Compared To Gray Couples

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce is a time of great hardship and both individuals have a hard time dealing with the reality. However, for some it is easier to accept the fact more than others. For young couples, who haven’t stayed married for a longer time, dealing with divorce is relatively easier than for gray couples. For gray couples, a divorce is more than just a physical separation from their partner. It is a new way of life and for some it can be very tough. Also, there is the question of property and asset separation which is more likely to be much more difficult for gray couples than for young couples.

Mediation is commonly used in divorce cases to ensure that the whole thing goes smoothly. But mediators might use different approach for young and gray couples because the issues are different.

Mediation for young couples

Lawyers who mediate young couples will often focus on the importance of marriage rather than a divorce. Often, mediators will offer couples to go for a separation instead. Since, the marriage period is small, a separation might help them understand what it means to stay apart from each other. Also, mediators will discuss the pros and cons of getting a divorce at an early stage. If the mediator becomes convinced that reconciliation is not possible, then he will focus on the advantages of getting a divorce. It is expected that younger couples won’t have children or much property and therefore, the divorce becomes much easier.

Mediation for gray couples

Gray couples have spent a longer time in marriage and their decision to divorce must be a strong one. However, mediators will often ask couples to reconsider the case and look for options to avoid a divorce. Most gray couples will have children and their assets and properties will also be huge. On top of that there will be the issue of taxes. So, overall, things like child custody, property division, alimony, tax and debt will play a major part in the divorce.

Conclusion

Mediation is important for every couple planning to get a divorce. However, not every couple will require the same type of mediation. For younger couples, the approach will be slightly different than it will be for gray couples. Things like huge assets, child custody, tax and debt won’t be a big issue for young couples as it will be for gray couples. Mediators must consider every factor before mediating.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

When Are Two Mediators Used During a Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange county divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsNowadays, divorce has become a common issue and couples who are unhappy with the marriage head for a divorce. Mediation plays a big part in divorce proceedings. Often, if the couple have not undergone a mediation program, the court will appoint one for them. But court-appointed mediation does not work as well as mediators who work separately. One of the biggest reasons is that court appointed mediators are given a time limit and often that limit is not enough to complete the mediation process properly. Mediation is given so that couples understand the divorce proceeding and what is required from them. In some cases, mediation processes also end up saving the marriage.

In most cases, one person acts as the mediation lawyer for both individuals. However, in some cases, two mediators are used.

When one of you is a close friend of the mediator

It could happen that one of you are good friends with a divorce mediator. So, it’s possible that the mediator favors one of you over the other, although mediators go out of their way to remain neutral even in such situations.  Also, having close friends mediating your divorce might not be a good idea if  there are things about you which probably you don’t want the world to know.

When one mediation does not work

Sometimes, couples might feel that one mediation is not enough or that the mediator has not done a good job. One of the primary objectives of mediation is to enlighten the couples about the divorce proceeding and what should be their best course of action. If a mediator fails to do that, then couples have the right to seek out the help of another mediator. However, they should first check the reputation and background of the second mediator they are hiring.

Conclusion

Mediation is an important part of divorce and should be taken seriously. However, in certain cases, one mediator does not work and therefore a second one may be required. It usually happens if the primary mediator is a family friend or at least close to one of you. You can also choose another mediator if you’re not happy with the service of the first one. It is important to know when you need a second mediator for the job. Spending unnecessarily on another person is not a good idea especially when you’re going to face financial damage during your divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

5 Tips To Have An Amicable Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMost people avoid talking about their divorce as much as they can because it is certainly not a happy story that they would want to talk about. While some marriages end in divorce, it is also not true that every divorce is a bad divorce. There are ways to have an amicable divorce and here’s 5 ways in which you can do it.

  1. Talk to your spouse

It is very important that you talk with your spouse about the divorce. Instead of having heated arguments, try talking about it amicably. Sometimes, divorces happen due to misunderstandings and maybe if you clear the air, there will be room for another chance. Even if the divorce takes place you’ll at least know that you tried your best to prevent it.

  1. Hire a good mediator

The main job of a mediator is to ensure that your divorce takes place in the best way possible. Instead of opting for a court-appointed mediator, hire one on your own. There are good mediators available in California and you can choose whomever you like. Often, a mediator succeeds in calling off the divorce but that mostly depends on the willingness of you and your spouse.

  1. Support each other

Support is very important when it comes to divorces. It may not be entirely your fault that you’re getting a divorce but remember that any negativity that you show will affect you in the end. So, it’s better to support each other not only financially but also emotionally as well.

  1. Give each other time to adjust

A divorce brings a change in a person’s lifestyle and to adjust to the new way of life every individual need’s time and space. When a divorce has been confirmed, give each other the time to cope with what the future holds for them now.

  1. Don’t rush into it

A divorce is not to be taken lightly and should not be rushed. Be patient and consider the changes that you and your spouse will have to deal with. Often, rash decisions lead to bad results.

Conclusion

A divorce does not necessarily have to end on a bad note. It can be done amicably provided you and your spouse are ready to listen to each other. Hire a good and experienced mediator to help you go through an amicable divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Common Misconceptions About Divorce Mediation in California

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationDivorce mediation is an attractive process for California couples that seek to resolve their disputes amicably without the need to have a public battle in court. However, there are still a lot of things that people do not know about divorce mediation and common misconceptions that exist about the topic.

Mediation is the best option

The whole point of an amicable settlement without the divorce going to court sounds attractive to most people, but divorce mediation is not always the best option for couples. This is especially true for couples in which one partner has a history of emotional abuse, and for couples that need to untangle and split a complex web of possessions between each other.

Pets cannot be a part of the mediation process

This is completely untrue as the California government recently passed a law concerning the division of pets in a divorce. The mediator can advise the couple on who is most likely to receive ownership of the pet or how they can work out a pet-sharing deal. This prevents people from stealing pets from their former partners and allows couples to settle the dispute amicably.

Mediation does not require individual lawyers

The mediator is typically a neutral party whose job it is to guide both parties in the divorce. However, it can be a complex process, and not seeking an attorney can be a very foolish thing to do unless you have complete knowledge of the law. You should definitely have an attorney who looks over the final mediation document before it becomes official. Both the parties are advised to have independent attorneys to safeguard their interests.

Mediation is not better than litigation for children

Most people assume that divorce is always going to be bad for their children no matter what. They assume that litigation and mediation are the same, but this could not be farther from the truth. By its very nature, litigation is an adversarial process that promotes a climate of tension, ill will, and stressful court appearances. On the other hand, mediation promotes a culture of cooperation and a desire to settle disputes amicably without excessive volatility. Mediators are trained to be concerned about the emotional and psychological well-being of the children involved, and it can be considered to be a first step to the future where the parents will no longer be together.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Choosing Between Mediation vs Litigation vs Collaborative Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsDivorce is never easy, no matter how amicable it is. There are numerous assets and properties that need to be divided, not to mention custody of children and other aspects. In California, a person that files for divorce has 3 ways to proceed – mediation, litigation and a collaborative divorce. There is no universal best choice among the 3 and each method is suitable for certain circumstances.

Mediation

Mediation is the process where a divorcing couple sits with an impartial and neutral mediator to decide on the division of assets and properties. While both parties have to hire their own lawyers before a settlement is agreed, the mediator does not have to be a lawyer. Mediation allows for spouses to split rather peacefully and consequently benefit the children. Cost is reduced along with complete confidentiality of all matters discussed. Mediation is best for amicable divorces where the spouses aim to remain in touch and maintain a good relationship.

Litigation

Litigation is the most common and oldest divorce format used. This is because in over 80% of divorce cases, the decision is made by one of the parties and is not mutual. In this case, mediation and collaborative divorce might not work as both parties are working against each other. Despite common believes, litigation often ends with an out-of-court settlement. The couple works with lawyers to come to an agreement regarding custody, division of assets, along with alimony payments and liabilities. Once a settlement is formed both parties sign it and a judge also signs off on it.

If a litigated divorce does go to court, all final decisions are made by the judge including decisions regarding assets and custody. It is recommended in most cases to keep the divorce out of the court as it could have a negative impact on the children and lead to more animosity among the parties. Litigation is the most public and the slowest of all 3 options.

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, the decision to get a divorce is often mutual and there is no animosity. Both parties hire an attorney and decide on the terms of the divorce. Unlike litigation, the attorneys in a collaborative divorce try to help couples come to a mutual agreement. Collaborative divorcees can also hire financial planners that will help plan their lives through the divorce and after. Therapists and coaches may also sit with the spouses to helps them resolve issues. In a collaborative divorce, there is no chance of going to court. In fact, documents are signed before the proceedings stating that the attorneys must withdraw if court is threatened or the settlement fails.

Both mediation and collaborative divorce are only recommended when both parties are on equal footing and have a mutual understanding. Spouses that doubt their partner’s declarations or do not understand the various assets on hand (such as finances) should choose litigation. The same applies when substance abuse, physical or mental abuse is involved.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How Mediation Can Protect You From Financial Harm

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediationDivorces often involve the division of property, asset and other financial holdings including businesses. Often, one of the divorcee ends up getting more than they wished for. Needless to say, the other person ends up losing more than what they would have wanted. Since, no one wants to end up as the other person, couples try their best to avoid financial complications during divorce proceedings.

One of the best ways of avoiding financial complications is mediation. A good mediation lawyer should be hired by every couple going through divorce. Mediation will not only help you with your finances but also with your mental and physical state during the divorce.

Some of the ways in which mediation can protect you from financial damage are:

Financial insight

A mediation lawyer knows and understands the risks involved when huge finances are involved in a divorce. Mediation will give you a financial insight of the issues that will be faced by you during the proceeding. An understanding of the issues involved in asset division is critical in determining how much damage you’ll be able to sustain. Financial mediation will help you negotiate the division of property and assets in the best way possible.

Your future financial life will depend heavily on your current financial condition and if you lose more than you have to, it might have a negative effect on your overall finances. Mediation helps you take an informed decision that protects your financial assets from unnecessary damage.

Better communication and negotiation

Mediation is essentially a form of communication and through communication a means of negotiation develops that is particularly helpful in divorce proceedings. A mediation also helps you maintain good relations with your spouse which is another essential thing in a divorce. Having a bad spousal relationship during the divorce proceeding can be one of the reason why you lose out on financial assets. Understanding your partner through effective communication is a useful strategy that everyone should apply.

Conclusion

Financial damage incurred during divorce is a common phenomenon and is an important issue every divorcee needs to deal with. Mediation is the best way to stop unnecessary financial damage and protect assets and property from unnecessary depletion to pay for high attorney’s fees and costs. Mediation is especially important when a huge amount of finance or business is in question. No one wants to end up as the loser and mediation ensures that it is a win-win situation for both parties.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Advantages Of A Mediated Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce Mediators Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsEvery couple who go through a rocky relationship after their marriage prefer a divorce over everything else. But couples often end up having a bad divorce, even worse than their marriage was. Things like finances, debts, assets, properties and children are all involved, not to mention the emotional and psychological trauma.

However, couples can also go through a smooth divorce if they choose to do it amicably. Such divorces, known as mediated divorce, happens when both parties decide to settle on a common ground before heading over to the court.

  1. Inexpensive

One of the major problems with divorce is that they can be expensive as hell. But in a mediated divorce, all it takes is for both individuals to sit down and decide on a settlement. The settlement includes property and asset division, child and spousal support and debt division. Hiring a divorce lawyer can sometimes be an expensive affair and couples may still end up losing more than they bargained for. Having a good discussion with your spouse before the divorce proceeding can yield beneficial results.

  1. Faster results

Divorce proceedings can take a long time before a final decision is passed. The waiting period can be strenuous and depressing for most individuals. A mediated divorce on the other hand takes less than 18 weeks on average and the end result is a lot better than the results of a traditional divorce.

  1. Less animosity

If you go through a bad divorce, it is highly unlikely that you will ever want to talk to your ex. wife. Initially, you will be fine with the way things are but after a certain period of time you will realize its after-effects. Individuals often go through feelings of guilt and shame after a bad divorce. Mediated divorce helps you avoid all of that and makes you feel less angry towards your partner.

  1. Customized solution

Mediated divorce gives customized solutions for you. Since how you want the divorce to take place and its outcome is completely in the hands of you and your partner, you can make changes as per your wish.

Conclusion

Divorces can be mentally and physically strenuous for both parties. A mediated divorce helps couples decide the outcomes of their divorce. Mediated divorces are inexpensive and yield faster and better results than traditional divorces. Couples are also saved from the psychological stress of divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation