California Family Law Mediation Lawyer
Resolving Family Disputes Through Mediation
Mediation is a very common form of alternative dispute resolution in divorce cases. It’s considered to be an effective means of resolving any type of dispute that doesn’t require a third-party determination or a judicial ruling. That is one of the main reasons it is used for family law mediation issues in divorce cases in San Diego. The mediator is not a judge and cannot force one party or the other to do anything different. Instead, the mediator is a neutral third party who is able to help the two disagreeing parties negotiate a settlement they can agree on.
This is called facilitative mediation, and it can be used for spousal support, child support, child custody, guardianship and other matters. If an agreement can be reached, the judge in the divorce case will often sign off on that agreement. Some cases do call for the view or opinion of the mediator, and that’s called evaluative mediation. However, it is important to remember that mediation is not binding in the same way a court order would be, and the mediator cannot force either party to accept a particular agreement.
Mediation has a structure, a timetable and an element of participation that is not seen in traditional negotiation. Mediators often use a number of techniques to improve the dialogue between disputants, with the goal of helping the parties reach an agreement that works for everyone. Success depends on the skill and training of the mediator, who must remain impartial.
National Conflict Resolution Center Education
San Diego has many attorneys from which to choose. Differentiating between them means understanding and evaluating their education, credentials and experience, so you can choose the right one for your case. A key quality that sets the Law Office of Renkin & Associates apart from other family law practices in San Diego County is Richard Renkin’s Mediation Education with the National Conflict Resolution Center.
This training educates participants in new and different techniques for dealing with impasse, ethical dilemmas, money issues, high-conflict personalities and adaptations of the facilitative model in business and legal settings. Since not all divorces are simple, and high-end divorces can mean many discussions and disagreements over assets, having a good mediator can make a significant difference in the end result of your divorce case.
Mediation Trained Divorce Lawyer in California
Whether you’re planning to litigate, negotiate or enter divorce mediation, San Diego-based Richard M. Renkin, Esq., CFLS, has a skill set that can only benefit you and your case. Through an intensive 32-hour course, Mr. Renkin gained knowledge and experience in the following areas:
- Conflict theory
- The stages of mediated problem-solving
- Balancing power
- Managing negotiations
- Strategic communication skills
- Handling emotions and impasse
- Mediator ethics
- Drafting agreements
- The role of attorneys, advisors and dispute resolution professionals
Since receiving training in conflict resolution, Mr. Renkin has mediated hundreds of cases for clients. He’s also served as a pro tem settlement judge and has a long history of acting as a settlement conference judge for the Superior Court.
Questions Answered about California Divorce and Mediation
More Questions answered here about the steps in the mediation process, the different courthouses or places for mediation, and what mediation in divorce is like and what to expect.
Q: Why should I consider family law mediation in my current divorce case?
A: Many reasons exist for choosing family law mediation. Most importantly, mediation can allow you and your spouse to make your own decisions about your divorce in a manner that’s more cost-effective than taking your case to court. When you decide to resolve your disputes through mediation instead of a court proceeding, you’ll have a mediator who will ensure that any decisions made are equitable and fair to each of the spouses involved.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In addition to being a cost-effective method for handling divorce disputes, it allows spouses to be involved in the negotiation process. In other words, you’ll have a key role in determining things like property division and child custody.
Choosing mediation can also allow you to keep your children from being in the middle of your divorce. While litigation can create a substantial amount of anxiety for spouses, it can also have a detrimental effect on children. Mediation can help to keep animosity to a minimum, as it focuses on collaboration, negotiation, and agreement.
Q: I’m not sure that my busy work schedule allows for mediation. How many sessions will I need to attend, and how long will those mediation sessions last?
A: The length and number of mediation sessions vary depending on each case, but they usually last about 2 to 3 hours. Some couples can resolve their disputes in a short number of sessions, while others need more time. Mediation can be a good option for many professional fathers in the San Diego area, and it usually takes less time than a traditional divorce. We encourage you to speak with a California divorce lawyer with experience in both mediation and litigation. We can help to determine whether mediation is a good option for you.
Q: If I opt for mediation, how long will I have to wait before my divorce becomes final?
A: Unlike a traditional divorce proceeding in California, in which you must wait 6 months between filing for the divorce until it can become final, mediation allows you to avoid that 6-month waiting period. Indeed, with mediation, your final judgment can be entered before 6 months have elapsed. Then, your official marital status will shift from being married to single on a future date that coincides with the 6-month rule.
Q: I’m concerned that my divorce case will hurt my professional reputation if my spouse contests matters like support and custody. Will other people know the details of my mediation sessions?
A: In short, the answer is no. One of the advantageous aspects of mediation is that all of the discussions that take place within your sessions are privileged and confidential. Indeed, California law specifically stipulates that “all communications, negotiations, or settlement discussions by and between participants in the course of a mediation or a mediation consultation shall remain confidential.”
We know how important your professional reputation can be, and even if your divorce ultimately requires litigation, we have the experience to ensure that you’re satisfied with the outcome. Contact a San Diego divorce attorney to learn more about mediation and litigation options for divorce.
More about mediation:
California Family Courts Require Mediation for Child Custody Disputes
Family courts in California also require child custody disputes to go through the mediation process before parents can proceed to court, so it’s extremely helpful to have a skilled mediator on your side. We are experts at determining the right course of action and planning each step of the process to achieve the most advantageous solution for you.
For further support or advice, call our office at (888) 837-3564 or email us to schedule a consultation with a San Diego divorce attorney.