When choosing collaborative Mediation, a divorcing couple who agrees to mediate their divorce is agreeing to discuss and resolve their common divorce-related issues with the assistance of three specially-trained, neutral third-party co-mediators. Your co-mediators will be able to work with you both to facilitate a meaningful discussion of the issues at hand so that the drama that often goes with divorce is minimized. They will also help keep you both focused and on track and make suggestions to help you finally resolve any issues that may linger. Even the most communication-challenged couples can be successful in mediation. Your co-mediators, however, can’t make decisions for you, force either of you to accept a term, or insist that either of you sign an agreement. Mediators can not work any harder than you and your spouse are willing to work in resolving your common divorce-related issues.
In the divorce collaborative Mediation process,
- a divorce family professional mediator facilitates your required co-parenting agreement,
- a divorce financial mediator facilitates the required identification, documentation, disclosure, characterization, valuation and division of your community property and debt as well as your required expected future income and budgets
- a family law attorney mediator facilitates your discussion of what the law says and doesn’t say and co-mediates with the family and financial mediators your final property division, child and spousal support agreements and then memorializes those mediated divorce agreements into the format required by the Court.
Most divorces are complicated and become more complicated when they involve children. Parents getting divorced should choose a family professional mediator who is able to clarify and articulate the parent’s co-parenting goals and values, to create a foundation for co-parenting that’s in their and their children’s best interest and to support the future well-being of the family after the divorce as the children grow and their needs change.
When complicated financial issues are involved, a financial mediator is specially-trained and experienced in identifying and documenting, characterizing as to community or separate, valuing sometimes difficult to value property and then in helping you both decide your preferred division of property and debt. A financial mediator will also help you determine your expected future income and expenses and then create a long-term divorce financial plan for each of you separately as a part of the divorce collaborative Mediation process.
Any divorce mediation must provide you and your spouse an opportunity to find out what California divorce laws say and don’t say and be able to handle the various issues that come with divorce like child custody, visitation and child and spousal support. A family law attorney mediator is necessary and integral part of reaching mediation collaboration divorce agreements and then memorializing them in the format and form required by the Court.
How does collaborative Mediation work? The process begins once you and your spouse agree to use this method of alternative dispute resolution and you choose your co-mediators. In California, mediation is voluntary. So, if either of you disagrees and wants to follow the traditional divorce route, a court will not require co-mediation.
Mediation works when both of you are open to negotiating the terms of your divorce. During your mediation meetings, each of you will have the opportunity to explain your expectations and preferences for the common divorce-related issues including property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation and child support. And each of you will have the opportunity to listen to the other’s expectations and preferences. This “active” listening is one of the reasons that mediation works so well. Divorcing couples often have difficulty listening to each other which is makes problem-solving in divorce negotiations challenging; “active” listening promotes negotiation.
Will divorce collaborative Mediation work for you? For many couples, working together with co-mediators might be what you need to obtain a divorce with as little conflict as possible. Collaborative Mediation works especially well if you and your spouse are on similar pages. You are more likely to have a successful mediation if you and your spouse both agree to a divorce, there’s no history of domestic violence, both of you are transparent about finances and you agree on basic custody terms for your minor children.
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