Los Angeles Family Law Mediation Attorney

Using Mediation To Reduce The Conflict Of Your California Divorce

Decisions made during the divorce process have a profound impact long after the decree is final. This is especially true when children are involved. Anything that can be done to avoid bitter litigation and post-divorce disputes will make the process easier on everyone. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are designed to save time, reduce the costs and alleviate stress, while preserving legal rights.

Due to the budget limitations in California, it is taking longer than necessary to appear before a family law judge to finalize a divorce settlement. For this reason, more and more people are choosing to finalize their divorces through mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as collaborative law and arbitration.

Confidentiality

Communications made during or in the course of mediation are confidential and should not be admissible as evidence in later court proceedings.

Clarify Issues

Mediation can allow parties to clarify issues, identify interests, and understand different perspectives by exploring possible solutions.

Control of Outcome

Mediation will only result in enforceable court orders if there is an agreement between the parties as its terms, unlike judicial determination of issues.

Privacy

Alternatives to Public Court Process for Privacy Concerns

Family law proceedings are filed in Superior Courts in California, which is a public judicial system. That means the court documents filed in a divorce case are public records accessible by any member of the general public and court hearings are open to the general public, too. This accessibility by the general public does not afford a sense of discretion typically sought by public figures and high-profile individuals.

To avoid having all of the hearings and pleadings being aired in public proceedings, parties can agree to have their case resolved by a private judge. Although private judging is an added expense, it provides elements of privacy not available in public court proceedings. Additionally, mediation through a private alternative dispute resolution center, whether with an attorney mediator or a retired judicial officer, involves strict confidentiality rules regarding what is said and done in the mediation process. In this way, mediation can help preserve the privacy of parties.

Cost-Benefit

Private judging requires payment of the professional fees for the appointed judicial officer, which can be worth it for the many benefits it provides.

Access

Superior Court calendars fill up quickly with a high volume of family law cases, but a private judge generally has more availability for scheduling proceedings.

Privacy

Hiring a private judge to determine the issues in your case prevents having hearings in public courthouses.

Mediation Advantages

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has many advantages over litigation:

  • Fewer hostilities and grudges that spill over into future disputes
  • Greater privacy because most details are not part of the public court record
  • More control over solutions, rather than leaving decisions up to a judge
  • Considerably lower cost
  • Less adverse impact on children
  • Faster resolutions than going to court

You can benefit from the advice of the expert Los Angeles divorce advocate at Gabbard Family Law. I have helped guide clients through the divorce mediation process and represent their best interests and those of his or her children.

Mediation

Informal legal process of resolving divorce issues to reach a private settlement without court intervention.

Collaborative Law

A hybrid of mediation and negotiation that involves multiple expert professionals and is non-confidential. 

Arbitration

A private arbitrator, such as a retired family court judge, is hired to settle disputes.