Q: MY SPOUSE AND I CANNOT COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY NOW. HOW WILL WE BE ABLE TO MEDIATE OUR DIVORCE?
A: This is not unusual for couples at the start, and I’m trained for exactly this kind of situation. My skills and experience enable me to assist my clients to work cooperatively and resolve divorce issues successfully. I will guide and facilitate the dialogue, assist in clarifying issues and gathering information, and guide you step by step through the divorce process.
Q: WHAT IF MY SPOUSE DOES NOT WANT TO MEDIATE?
A: Suggest to your spouse that he or she call me to discuss the mediation process before deciding that it is not an option. I’ll be happy to explain the process and answer any questions your spouse may have.
Q: HOW WILL I GET INFORMATION ABOUT MY SPOUSE’S FINANCES?
A: Full financial disclosure is required by California law, whether you choose mediation or decide to litigate. In mediation, you and your spouse will sign a Mediation Agreement in which each of you promises full disclosure to the other of all assets and debts, income and expenses. Each spouse will, in addition, sign a statement under penalty of perjury that all financial information has been given to the other spouse. Finally, you and your spouse are required to state to the Court, in your Marital Settlement Agreement, that you have fully complied with all California financial disclosure laws.
Q: WILL MY INTERESTS BE PROTECTED IN MEDIATION?
A: You will make decisions only after reviewing all the facts and discussing many options, both in mediation and in separate sessions where we meet with each spouse privately. You will make decisions only when you are ready to make them.You will show your proposed agreement to a family law attorney before making your decisions final. You won’t sign anything until you have decided that it is in your best interests to do so.
Q: I AM ALREADY DIVORCED. I NEED TO MODIFY SUPPORT OR MY CHILD CUSTODY. CAN MEDIATION HELP?
A: Yes! I can assist you in making changes in court-ordered support and parenting plans, as well as other matters that arise after divorce. Mediation is particularly useful here because it is so much less costly and is much faster than litigating these matters. Of course, in mediation, you make decisions that fit your unique circumstances, rather than having decisions imposed on you by the Court that may not be satisfactory to either you or your former spouse.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?
A: There is no retainer. The cost of a typical divorce mediation is usually less than the cost of the retainer fees you and your spouse would each have to pay to your divorce attorneys. A mediated divorce is always substantially less costly than a litigated divorce.