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Mediation During a Divorce

The team at the Los Angeles Family Law Offices of Atousa Saei often help parties reach an agreement outside of court.  Through the process of divorce mediation, the firm serves as a neutral party to help spouses resolve their differences. Through this non-adversarial setting, the firm is able to strengthen communication between the parties, assist them in setting goals, and create a plan and agreement that meets their needs. The mediation process also serves to educate the parties as to the likely outcome of their matter should it be taken to court, where it will be decided by a judicial officer.

Divorce mediation is highly recommended since it can save money, preserve relationships, allow an open channel of communication, and expedite closure. It is important to note that mediation services are confidential and what happens in divorce mediation is not admissible in court. When compared to court litigation, both parties often have far greater flexibility in resolving issues such as visitation schedules that fit both parties’ needs. Most importantly, such an approach can also control costs. While court is often the only recourse for many couples, it can be an expensive option.

The Law Offices of Atousa Saei are available to mediate the entire marriage dissolution as well as any custody disputes. We can show you how to prepare for divorce mediation. This is often a healthier option for all parties involved. Straightforward and effective is the Saei Law Firm approach when conducting its divorce mediation service.

Why Consult with a Los Angeles Divorce Mediation Attorney & How to Prepare

divorce mediation is best handled by a skilled and qualified divorce mediation lawyer, such as the attorneys at the Law Offices of Atousa Saei. While you can theoretically draft a mediation agreement yourself, there is a huge margin for error. It is wise to speak with an attorney regarding your legal rights. Specifically, an attorney will:

  • Evaluate your options. Prior to the divorce mediation, an attorney will help you evaluate the various options, select a divorce mediator in Los Angeles, and persuade your spouse to mediate.
  • Act as a law coach. During the divorce mediation, a legal adviser can act as a law coach on an as-needed basis. Between sessions, you can consult with your divorce mediator to clarify questions and prepare for negotiations. A good legal adviser can coach you in negotiating techniques and help you think up creative solutions to conflicts that seem unresolvable.
  • Predict outcomes and costs. A divorce mediator in Los Angeles can also help predict the range of possible outcomes if you were to go to court — and the cost of paying a divorce lawyer to fight for them. Knowing the possible outcomes can be essential to a successful negotiation as many parties want to avoid extra cost, time and emotional strain.
  • Review agreements. Perhaps most important, a legal adviser can review any written agreement prepared by the divorce mediator to make sure that it says what you want it to say and that it will be legally binding once signed.
  • Prepare court documents. Finally, your legal adviser can interface with the court, helping you prepare the required paperwork once your settlement agreement is signed.

 

The Pros and Cons of Using a Divorce Mediator

Mediation is the process where parties utilize a neutral third person to assist them in reaching an amicable agreement. Mediators are routinely consulted during divorce proceedings to help couples resolve disputes regarding child custody and visitation, child support, and/or the division of marital property.

At the Law Offices of Atousa Saei, we help Southern California residents reach agreements regarding their divorce disputes in lieu of court litigation. We invite you to contact us for more information about how our mediators can help you. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of using a mediator.

Pros

  • Each party can discuss his/her stance regarding the situation without the constraints of civil rules.
  • Flexibility as to when the parties can decide to meet.
  • Mediation services allow parties to keep aspects of their marriage confidential.
  • Mediation services provide both parties the opportunity to listen to one another in a non-confrontational setting – unlike in a courtroom.
  • The parties actively participate in resolving their dispute instead of relying on a judge to do so.
  • Mediation services allow the parties to communicate directly with one another instead of through their attorneys.
  • Mediation services can help preserve the existing relationship between the parties.
  • The parties, not the mediator nor judge, have the final say in reaching an agreement.
  • Mediation services tend to be more affordable than hiring counsel to resolve the dispute through litigation.
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, you still have the opportunity to go to court to litigate the matter.

Cons

  • Both parties may not agree to mediate.
  • One party may be unwilling to cooperate or compromise.
  • In limited cases, such as domestic violence between the parties, mediation is inappropriate.
  • Mediation services may be inappropriate for resolving urgent matters.
  • Concerns and legal challenges may arise regarding the enforceability of an agreement reached through mediation.
  • Mediation services may not work for couples who have a history of animosity throughout their relationship.
  • Under limited circumstances, attorneys may be involved which may increase the cost of mediation.
  • Hiring an unskilled/inexperienced mediator can do more damage than good.
  • If a party is hiding assets, mediation may not be best for the couple.

At our law practice, we provide a calm and safe environment for parties to come together and discuss their divorce disputes. Our family law and divorce attorneys have years of experience helping parties reach agreements regarding the terms of their divorce.

When Should You Contact A Mediator

Have a consultation with a legal adviser early on during the mediation process. Waiting to consult with a divorce mediator in Los Angeles until after you’ve already negotiated an agreement, and you may be in for some surprises about your legal rights that could undermine your commitment to the agreement you’ve just negotiated. Going back to mediation and trying to renegotiate the agreement at that point is often disastrous.

If you start the mediation process with solid legal information, you can negotiate an agreement that takes into account all of your legal rights. This makes it much less likely that the mediation will fall apart at the last minute.

What to Look For in a Mediator.

As your mediation progresses, you should feel free to consult with your legal adviser on an as-needed basis between mediation sessions, whenever you have questions about your legal rights or proposed settlement terms.

Experience in divorce law.

You want a lawyer with significant experience in the area of divorce law. Consider looking for a certified specialist in divorce law, family law, or matrimonial law. Many certified specialists are quite knowledgeable about mediation and are experienced as consulting lawyers. Family Law is the focus of the Law Offices of Atousa Saei, and we are here to get you the best agreement possible. Our office of divorce mediators in Los Angeles will fight for you.

Reputation for integrity.

Your legal adviser should have a good reputation for competence, honesty, and respectful treatment of clients. Ask your referral sources about these qualities. Atousa Saei and her team have extensive experience with divorce mediation issues, with positive reviews to reflect this expertise.

Divorce mediation experience.

It is also critical that your legal adviser be experienced in and supportive of divorce mediation. What you want is advice designed to inform you of your legal rights and to help you promote a reasonable settlement. The attorneys at Atousa Saei have extensive mediation experience with mediation services, and first hand professional experience with how divorce mediation can be very helpful to couples for whom it is a good fit.

The Mediation Process – How Divorce Mediation Works in Los Angeles County

At the Law Offices of Atousa Saei, we take great pride in helping our clients reach solutions while saving them time and money via the mediation process. We meet with our prospective clients and discuss their case in-depth to determine if mediation is appropriate.

We try to keep mediation services as simple as possible. We work alongside our clients to maintain a peaceful environment and avoid the intense stress that litigated divorce puts on a family. Our mediators understand the importance of how a relaxing environment can help parties reach an agreement in a time effective manner and feel satisfied with the results.

  1. Initial Meeting or Conference Call

We invite all of our prospective clients to contact us to schedule an initial meeting and discuss their issues. During the meeting, our trained divorce mediator will ask a series of questions to gather basic information about the matter to determine if mediation is appropriate for the parties.

Both parties will be contacted to determine if they both agree to mediate the issues. If the parties agree, we will schedule a follow-up appointment to undergo a mediation evaluation in which all issues in conflict will be discussed.

  1. Mediation Evaluation – Define the Issues of Conflict

Each party can either call our office or meet with us in person to discuss the issues which they would like to resolve. This will help us guide the conversation and maintain a neutral environment. Please note, we never provide legal advice to either party during mediation. Our sole duty is to remain neutral and help the parties foster a dialogue to reach an agreement.

  1. Joint Meeting and Individual Sessions

A joint meeting will be scheduled for the parties to come together. During this meeting, our mediator will discuss the terms of the mediation and review the mediator’s role. We will determine if it is best for the parties to have individual sessions with our mediator, or if joint sessions are best to resolve their issues.

  1. Follow-Up Meeting or Conference

Some mediations may span into several days, or parties would like to think about their options prior to signing an agreement. We are happy to conduct follow-up sessions as needed to make sure all parties are in agreement with the resolution of the underlying issues.

  1. Final Resolution

Once the parties reach a final resolution, a marital settlement agreement will be drafted for your review and approval. The marital settlement agreement will be attached to the final judgment.

We invite you to contact our law office to speak with a skilled mediator regarding your options, your rights, and how to protect yourself and your family. The Law Offices of Atousa Saei provide mediation and family law services to residents throughout the greater Southern California area.

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