Why Working With an Attorney Can Be Helpful in Your CA Divorce Mediation
Mediation can be an excellent method for reaching a divorce outcome that meets your needs, while generally being faster, less costly, and less contentious than litigating against your spouse in California family law court over your differences.
There is no requirement that you work with an attorney in a California divorce mediation, just as there is no requirement that you hire an attorney to litigate matters in court. And many divorcing couples – especially those who have an amicable relationship and fewer differences regarding important divorce issues – are indeed able to reach their goals by solely working with a California divorce mediator (many of whom are themselves family law attorneys).
But there are several key areas in which working with your own divorce attorney in your mediation can be helpful to reaching the results you desire, even as you remain committed to an amicable outcome with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Your Attorney Represents Your Interests Solely
A mediator’s primary (and some would say, only) goal is to help you and your spouse reach a settlement agreement that resolves all of your outstanding issues in your divorce, including how property should be distributed, what (if any) spousal support should be paid and for how long, custody and visitation issues, and child support terms.
A mediator can provide you and your spouse with an understanding of how California law, and, by extension, a California family court judge, would treat those issues, but their job is not to represent you in reaching your goals. An attorney that represents you, on the other hand, is indeed devoted to helping you achieve your best outcomes.
By way of a broad example, if you are seeking the highest spousal support award possible, your attorney will work to win that award, whether through mediation or in court. A mediator, however, will be interested in understanding what it is you are seeking, but will be primarily devoted to finding a spousal support award that you and the other spouse will both agree on.
Your Attorney Will Advise You of Your Rights and Obligations
By working with your own attorney, you can achieve a comprehensive understanding of what your rights and obligations are under the law with regard to property distribution, spousal and child support, custody, and so on. A mediator who has a strong understanding of California family law may be able to do this as well, but, again, the mediator’s main goal is to help you reach agreement with the other spouse, not necessarily to make you aware of all possible legal outcomes you would face at trial on any given issue.
Your Attorney Can Provide Support Before, During, and After the Mediation
Following from the previous point, your attorney will be in a position – and indeed have the obligation – to provide you with ongoing advice regarding reaching your goals throughout the divorce process. That includes advising you prior to mediation (which can include whether mediation is even a promising strategy for you), during the mediation itself (which can include multiple sessions), and after the mediation, whether you are able to reach a settlement agreement or not via the mediation process.
Help in Your California Divorce Mediation
The Pasadena family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker work with clients across Southern California can assist in acting you as a mediator for your divorce or in representing you through a mediation. For help with any family law matter you are facing, please contact the experienced, compassionate family law attorneys at Kearney | Baker today at 626-768-2945.