Family Law Specialists

Steve Fernandez and Mark Karney are both Certified Family Law Specialists* with over 50 years of combined experience.

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Los Angeles Family Law Mediation Attorney

Have you and your spouse agreed on most of the details of your divorce, but simply can’t get on the same page about a few lingering issues? Maybe your spouse wants to sell the family home and split the cash, while you want to walk away with possession of the home, instead. Or, maybe you just can’t see eye-to-eye on the custody of your children. If you think that a little bit of outside help could push you in the right direction, mediation may be for you. With the help of an unbiased third party, you and your spouse can come to an agreement and finalize the details of your pending divorce.

Understanding Mediation

Mediation is a great dispute resolution tool that can help to guide you and your spouse to mutually-agreeable decisions in your divorce. When you decide to use the mediation process, a trained mediator will help you and your spouse get to the root of the issues in your dispute and guide you to a resolution. This impartial third party does not have the authority or power to make any decisions on your behalf. Instead, their role is limited to acting as a liaison and intermediary. The decisions that are made during mediation are entirely up to the divorcing spouses. The mediator is simply there to help move conversations in a positive direction.

Why Should I Choose Mediation?

Mediation can be a great tool when you are struggling to agree on important decisions in your divorce. You and your spouse may want to consider using mediation because:

  • You maintain control over all final decisions;
  • Other dispute resolution techniques are more stressful;
  • The proceedings are confidential;
  • It is a less expensive alternative; and
  • It can help you and your spouse work through underlying issues that are preventing you from coming to a mutual agreement.

What Happens During Mediation?

So, you’ve decided to go ahead and try to resolve your disputes using mediation. What should you expect from the process? What will you be expected to do? What will the process of mediation look like? Here is a brief overview of what you can expect from the mediation process in your Los Angeles divorce.

Choosing a Mediator: You and your spouse have agreed to give mediation a try. This is a great first step toward achieving mutually-agreeable resolutions to the issues in your divorce. The next step is to choose a qualified mediator to guide you through the process. The divorce attorneys at Fernandez & Karney have excellent relationships with some of the best mediators in Los Angeles and can help you choose the one that is best for you.

Preparing for Mediation: Once you have chosen a mediator and set a date for the dispute resolution process you should begin to prepare. This should involve outlining the issues that are being discussed and gathering evidence to support the outcome you would prefer.

Initial Meeting: The mediator will hold an initial meeting at the beginning of your scheduled mediation session. During this meeting, the mediator will go over the guidelines that should be followed throughout the course of the day and reiterate the fact that the session is confidential. The mediator will also remind you and your spouse that the mediator’s job is to guide you to a mutually-agreeable decision. All final decisions are still up to you.

Joint Session: The initial meeting will generally be followed by a joint session, where the mediator sits down with both spouses at the same time. During this session, you will both have the opportunity to provide an opening statement and explain what you would like to get out of the process. The mediator will use this session as a platform to achieve open and honest communication. If possible, the mediator would like you and your spouse to engage with each other and talk out your issues. The mediator will act as a referee, keeping you both in line.

Individual Session: Sometimes a joint session is not productive or simply not the best way to resolve your issues. If this is the case, the mediator may ask you and your spouse to sit in separate rooms. The mediator will then speak with each of your privately and bring your concerns to your spouse. The mediator will continue to move back and forth between you, attempting to move the conversation in a positive direction.

Closure: Once the mediator believes that you are on the same page and can agree on the terms of your Los Angeles divorce they will bring you together for final negotiations. This is where you will have the opportunity to finalize your decisions and put them down in writing. The mediator will draw up a contract reflecting the terms you have settled on and have you sign them on the spot. Once this contract is signed it is a legally-binding contract, and you will be required to adhere to its terms.

Los Angeles Mediation Attorney

When you choose to get a divorce in Los Angeles you and your spouse will be required to make a lot of decisions during the divorce process. Before your divorce can be finalized you must agree on how your marital assets will be divided, who will have custody of your children, and if either of you will receive spousal support. It may be easy for you to agree on some of these things, but difficult to agree on others. When you and your spouse cannot agree on all of the terms of your divorce, but want to avoid a costly court battle, you may want to consider mediation. Call the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Fernandez & Karney for more information about the mediation process.

Our Certified Family Law Specialists know that a divorce can be overwhelming. We also know that mediation is a great tool that can help you nail down the final details of your split. Contact us today to learn about how we can help guide you through the mediation process, avoid costly court expenses, and finalize your divorce amicably.