FAQs About Mediation
Why Mediate Your Divorce?
Mediation helps couples keep control over their decisions and make good choices about their family’s future without the high cost of litigation. Settlements have a high compliance rate because the parties have created their own agreement.
What Does The Mediator Do?
Mr. Price is a neutral, helping the parties communicate effectively, gather facts and explore their options, and negotiate an agreement each party can live with.
How Does The Process Work?
The couple and Mr. Price meet in a series of mediation sessions which last about two hours each. The informal sessions are in Mr. Price’s conference room and clients are encouraged to dress comfortably.
1st Mediation: We identify issues and what information needs to be shared such as tax returns, lists of assets and debts, current income and expenses for each party, and whether experts such as appraisers may be needed.
Further Mediation: Negotiations take place to agree on a parenting plan, child and spousal support, dividing assets and debts.
The Agreement: Once a settlement is reached, Mr. Price prepares an Agreement for review by the parties and attorneys, then a Judgement is prepared and filed in court.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Both parties are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice during the mediation process, and to have their lawyer review any agreement before it is signed.
How Long Will It Take?
Each case is different, but most require at least 4 two hour mediation sessions, spread out over two to three months. Complex cases require more time, simple cases less time. The mediations take place in a conference room in Mr. Price’s office in Orange near the 22, 57 and 5 freeways.
What Are The Charges For Services?
The charges are $300. Fees are also charged for preparing agreements and required court documents.
Do We Save Money By Mediating?
Yes. Mediation costs much less than if the divorce is litigated, even including the cost of consulting with their own lawyer during the process. Because mediation is informal and private, the parties also reduce the time required to complete the divorce and limit the emotional effect on their children.
Is Our Agreement Enforceable?
Yes. Your agreement is enforceable like any other written contract, and the judgement filed is as enforceable as any other divorce order or judgment.
What If My Case Is Complicated?
No case is too complicated to be settled with mediation. We can use experts like accountants, appraisers, financial planners, and counselors.
Is Mediation Confidential?
Yes. State law prohibits the parties from using what is said in mediation as evidence in court; mediation is confidential, just like settlement negotiations between lawyers.
What If We Argue A Lot?
Mr. Price is skilled in assisting couples who have high emotions but still want to work out an agreement peacefully.
Will My Spouse Overpower Me?
No, Mr. Price will take appropriate steps to prevent that from happening. The clients who think they are the ‘weaker” of the two spouses often learn that they can be very effective negotiators through mediation.
Will We Have To Appear In Court?
No court appearances are necessary – we take care of filing the right paperwork with the court.
What’s The Bottom line?
Couples can mediate a fair agreement each party can live with, or take their chances that a judge may make orders unfavorable to both parties. There is a choice, so choose wisely.