Mediation is exactly what it sounds like; it is a legally-backed alternative to court litigation which entails the equal participation of both parties, and the assistance of a neutral third-party who can moderate the flow of the discussions for an effective negotiation. The goal of mediation is to settle all the outstanding issues of the couple. The mediator would then memorialize those terms in a document called a Stipulated Judgment. Once signed by both parties, the judgment would be sent off to the courts for processing. The process ends with a conformed copy of your finalized paperwork in the hands of both parties, all without having anybody step foot in a courtroom.
Interested in sparing yourself the drama? Here are a few more benefits to look into for divorce mediation in Orange County:
It’s Cost Effective
Make no mistake, there are plenty of unavoidable expenses that build up quickly in litigation. From start to finish, there’s the consultation fee, then the initial retainer deposit. After that are the hours that your legal team would put in to work on your case. On top of the billable hours are the court filing fees to be covered. In between all of those steps, it would be smart to take into account the phone calls and emails which will also appear on your monthly invoice. Finally, take all of that and multiply by two (one for spouse 1, the other for spouse 2). The projected figures are sure to make anybody’s head spin. Luckily, there is an alternative for this. Mediation can potentially cut costs in half. All mediators have their own payment arrangements, and since you and your spouse will both be working with the mediator, the work on the case will be billed from one retainer only. Also, you have the benefit of foregoing the Respondent’s filing fee as the process of mediation does not require a formal Response to be filed. Instead, Respondent will have their chance to discuss their view on the issues before the mediator. There will be paperwork acknowledging that all measures and steps were taken to ensure that both sides have been heard. When the parties come to an agreement, all issues will be stipulated in a formal judgment.
As stated earlier, there are only three parties involved in mediation; you, your spouse, and your mediator who will remain neutral throughout the whole process. Confidentiality will be taken very seriously. No discussions will ever make it on official record. Nothing said between the parties can be held against one another. In fact, the parties will be prohibited from seeking seconds opinions from other counsel until after the settlement agreement is drafted. The parties will be able to deliberate on their issues, while the mediator weighs the respective pros and cons. The goal is to facilitate decision-making with as few distractions as possible.
It takes Teamwork
The open forum-like pace of mediation offers couples to openly discuss the outstanding issues before one another. The instant benefit? No mixed messages from opposing attorneys. No misinterpretations of plans. No hidden strategies. Just civil communication between all participants, with one goal in mind: a fair settlement. With your mediator as a neutral party, they are counting on the couples to be as honest as possible in order to assist them in the best way possible. Cooperation from all sides will ensure smooth sailing.
You are in Control
Remember, a mediator’s role is limited to providing clarity to the laws that apply to the case while facilitating negotiations. No legal advice will be given to one party without the knowledge of the other. All options will be laid out on the table. The mediator will go into detail about the benefits and detriments of each option, and the final decision will be left for the parties to decide. Your mediator will do their best in providing all that they can to lead the parties to the most informed decision to move forward.
It will be over before you know it, while those who chose to litigate their case subject themselves to the schedule of the court (in terms of hearings, settlement conferences, and the like) the parties will be in full control over the pace of the mediation. Cooperation and communication are vital keys to making it through this process as whole as possible. Mediation is a good option to explore if the parties are able to civilly speak to each other. The quicker the parties come to an agreement in mediation, the faster the paperwork will be finalized. The faster the paperwork is finalized, the faster your divorce will be granted. Your mediator will do their best to ensure that the parties are on even ground as the spouses prepare to embark a new chapter in their lives.