Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation – A creative and peaceful alternative to litigated divorce

Divorce Mediation and Parenting Plans

Can divorce actually be accomplished with creativity, compassion and love?

Yes!! Divorce Mediation is an alternative to attorney litigated divorce and can create opportunities for couples to work through the process without permanent damage to a future relationship as parents. When people can negotiate productively and decide for themselves how they will divide property and allocate resources, how they will co-parent and how to make decisions cooperatively, the potential for emotional harm to everyone, especially children, is greatly reduced. Research shows that even though divorce is difficult for children, they adjust more quickly and with diminished negative effects when parents are able to co-parent with respect and good will toward one another. The cost of divorce mediation is far less than hiring an attorney to represent each party. Sierra Agape Center offers divorce mediation on a sliding fee basis depending on income. Mediation is available on a sliding fee basis beginning at $75.00 per hour.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce Mediation:

But what if my partner tries to intimidate me into getting what he/she wants?

Divorce Mediation ServicesThe beauty of divorce mediation is that the couple comes to an agreement about what is equitable with the mediator’s guidance. Mediators are trained to stop negative communication and keep it focused on problem solving and finding resolution. Mediators are trained in understanding family law and providing clients with education about how it all works. Although mediators cannot practice law, they will help you work through difficult decisions one at a time by identifying the obstacles and helping clients to overcome fear. A mediator will always refer clients to attorneys when divorce mediation is either dangerous or ineffective.

What about after the divorce is final? Can we mediate changes in the parenting plan or child support?

Absolutely. Post-decree modifications to parenting and support plans can be accomplished in mediation. Mediators can guide parents through each step and develop a plan with you that fits for you and your children.

Will we still need a lawyer for all the paperwork?

No, we have all the required legal documentats and software to calculate child support. We always advise clients to seek consult from an attorney to be certain about tax consequences related to property and retirement plans and to make sure all the documents are in accordnace with legal requirements.

How many sessions will it take to get everything done?

The time it takes to complete divorce mediation depends upon each couple’s motivation to reach agreements on property division, spousal support (if applicable) and parenting. It also depends upon how complicated your assets and liabilities are. If you own a lot of property and you also have a lot of debt, it takes time to work through the process of disposing of it (selling and dividing). I usually tell clients between three and six 90 minutes sessions.

Isn’t California a 50/50 state?

Yes, in California, the law says that property must be divided equally. So we look at separate property (what was yours before the marriage or gifted or willed to you during the marriage), and what is community property (what you accumulated and participated in maintaining during the marriage), and “quasi-community property” which is more complicated. Then we decide how to make an equal division.

What if divorce mediation fails?

If people are unable to mediate successfully, we will refer you to an attorney who holds similar values as we do about resolving divorce peacefully and with as little damage to your children and your bank account as possible.

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