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This articles from Steve Raiser, a well known Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney. Most people who file for divorce never expected to be in this situation. Marriages aren’t typically entered into with the assumption they’ll end in divorce, but many do. When you find yourself in a situation that involves divorce following a marriage, you might have questions. The concept of divorce is simple, but the process isn’t so simple. It’s often time-consuming, and many states require you spend even more time waiting before you can finalize the process. One of the most commonly asked questions is about divorce mediation. Mediation is common in many divorces, but it’s not something that occurs all the time.
Divorce mediation occurs when couples work to separate their assets, figure out who gets the kids, how retirement and taxes are figured, and other financial and legal obligations are discussed. Some couples are amicable enough in their decision to divorce they don’t require mediation. If you’re divorcing your spouse, perhaps you are getting along just fine. Perhaps your marriage came to a mutual end. You both realize you want other things in life, and it’s not working. Instead of hating one another and wanting the other to hurt as much as possible, you sit down and decide to work out all the details. You’re friendly with one another, so you come up with a custody agreement for the kids. You figure out what happens with your belongings, your shared assets, and your financial situations.
Once that’s all figured out and agreed up, you’re good to go presenting it all to a judge at your divorce hearing. You can present this information to your attorneys if you choose to hire them. This happens in many divorce situations, and it’s helpful and more affordable. It’s recommended you work things like this out together to save money and time in the divorce proceedings.
If you’re unable to do this, the court asks you attempt to work this out with mediation. Mediation is the simple presence of your attorneys and a mediator. The mediator is an impartial third party who listens to both sides of the argument and presents solutions. The mediator’s job is to keep things civil, and to help couples reach an agreement in their divorce proceedings. This is a person who might see things from a different point of view, and he or she might be able to offer up suggestions neither of you were in the right frame of mind to consider.
Mediation is entirely confidential. It’s a concern for many people to walk into a room where they are required to present their financial assets, their personal lives, and so much information that’s not necessarily public. The person who is in the room is legally bound to keep this information private, and it’s not something couples need to worry about during the divorce proceedings. The goal of mediation is to iron out all the final details, and it’s recommended you take this seriously.
If mediation doesn’t work in a case where a couple harbors so much animosity toward one another, mediation ends. This means the couple faces a judge, and assets and even custody is decided upon at this point. It’s not preferable for your divorce to come to this, as oftentimes the decision of the judge is not what you wanted in the first place. It’s often easier and more beneficial for couples to come up with an agreement through compromise of their own choice than it is to have a judge create a legal, binding document you cannot change later. Mediation can be a quick process depending on how easily you reach an agreement. However, it can be dragged out for days at a time, perhaps even weeks in the most serious situations. The cost depends on the amount of time you spend in mediation, and it varies from county to county.
Divorce mediation is important for couples. Not only is it a good way to work through issues and reach amiable solutions, it’s more affordable and beneficial than allowing someone else to make these decisions on your behalf. Try divorce mediation if you cannot seem to come to an agreement on your own.
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