Divorce proceedings are often stressful and complicated. Divorce is not simply the dissolution of a relationship. There are often many other matters that need to be settled, which may include the division of assets and child custody arrangements.
Divorce attorney Karen S. Brown has the knowledge and expertise to guide our Los Angeles, CA, and Santa Monica, CA, clients through divorce proceedings. She works hard to reach a fair settlement, while fighting to protect our client’s best interests. In many cases, we can achieve these goals through mediation. Divorce mediation allows spouses to settle divorce matters without a potentially costly and lengthy court proceeding.
The Mediation Process
Divorce mediation typically involves five parties. Individuals that attend divorce mediation include the spouses seeking a divorce, a neutral mediator who is hired to work with the spouses to reach agreed upon settlements, and, often, an attorney to represent each spouse.
At the start of mediation, clients will compose a list of matters that need to be settled. Each case varies slightly, but common divorce issues include:
- Distribution of assets
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support
- Settlement of retirement accounts
During the mediation process, individuals have the option to stay in the same room and discuss matters openly, or to separate into different rooms and communicate via the mediator. The technique that is best for each situation will depend largely on how well the divorcing spouses are able to communicate.
If matters are discussed separately, each spouse will be in a room with his or her attorney to discuss potential settlements. The mediator will go between rooms, acting as a neutral party to analyze and develop settlement options. Information is passed between parties via the mediator, until an acceptable settlement is reached.
Benefits of Mediation
If divorcing spouses are able to discuss divorce matters reasonably without excessive conflict, mediation is often an ideal path of resolution. Mediation provides our clients with many unique benefits:
- Mediation is completely confidential, whereas court is a public proceeding
- Mediation often costs a small fraction of the cost of a court proceeding
- Mediation can typically be completed much faster than a court proceeding
- Mediation allows spouses to be in control of their own divorce proceeding and settlements
- Mediation has a high rate of success
What if We Don’t Reach an Agreement during Mediation?
Some of our clients hesitate to bring a divorce to mediation because they don’t want to sacrifice their right to a court proceeding, should the mediation prove unsuccessful. Individuals can rest assured that mediation is a completely voluntary proceeding, and no one is obligated to accept any settlements proposed during the mediation process.
Although mediation has a high rate of success, there are cases when involved parties cannot come to an acceptable agreement. If mediation fails to result in a reasonable settlement, parties have the right to stop the mediation process and move forward with a court proceeding.
Schedule a Legal Consultation
If you are going through a divorce, it is extremely beneficial to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side as you settle vital matters regarding division of assets and child custody. To discuss the details of your situation and learn how family law attorney Karen S. Brown can be of assistance, call (323) 274-2697 to schedule a legal consultation at your earliest convenience. We serve clients in Santa Monica and other areas of Los Angeles.