Attorney Kevin B. Gibbs has over 25 years of experience representing clients in family law and divorce cases. His padded legal experience provides him with the knowledge and skill to guide you through the mediation process that can be emotionally charged and draining. Attorney Gibbs is a compassionate mediation coach who can help you effectively prepare and voice your interests, needs, and goals in an upcoming mediation session.
What Does a Mediation Coach Do?
A mediation coach guides individuals through the divorce mediation process and are usually family law attorneys who are closely familiar with both the mediation process and divorce and family law. A mediation coach who is also a family lawyer can provide important practical advice and help to ensure you address your needs and goals in negotiation.
Note that while a mediation coach prepares clients for mediation sessions, they typically do not accompany clients to those sessions like an attorney would. In effect, mediation coaches prepare individuals “behind the scenes” to advocate appropriately for themselves in a mediation room that can be daunting and intimidating. The mediation coach’s sole concern is to help their client prepare to voice their interests in the mediation process and the goals they wish to achieve. After all, to get the most out of a mediation session, individuals should prepare to discuss the various issues in their matter by collecting the relevant information to be discussed and developing the thoughts and desires regarding the issues in the matter.
Generally, an individual will meet with their mediation coach before and/or after a mediation session to:
- prepare and review documents;
- review and analyze the events that occurred during a session;
- identify and resolve negative emotions;
- overcome co-parenting challenges; and
- evaluate agreements and documents produced through the mediation.
A mediation coach can identify and answer legal questions in ways that a mediator, who must remain strictly neutral, cannot. They can also help establish mediation goals and understand legal arguments throughout the mediation process.
Child Custody/Visitation Mediation
One of the most important and highly charged disputes in a mediation session is child custody negotiations. Recall that the courts will always consider the child’s best interests when making any order of physical or legal custody. In California, the “best interests” of a child are primarily:
- the health, safety, and welfare of the child; and
- frequent and continuing contact with both parents (with exceptions).
Keep in mind that the State of California assume it is beneficial for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after divorce, and the court encourages parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing according to this policy. As a result, when negotiating parenting plans in mediation, which have to ultimately be approved by the court, the best parenting schedules are those that exhibit frequent and continuing contact between the child and both parents. According to California’s parenting plan guide, some of the most important factors to consider when developing a parenting plan in the best interests of the child include:
- age, gender, and stage of development of the child;
- emotional, social, and educational needs of the child;
- health, welfare, and safety of the child;
- level of communication and cooperation between parents;
- parenting ability and psychological adjustment of each parent;
- quality of the parent-child relationships;
- parental support systems;
- cultural factors.
Let Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC Support You
If you are going into mediation to resolve divorce disputes in California, do not hesitate to contact a mediation coach for additional legal support in the process. Mediation proceedings can become tense as disputes rise to the surface, but it is in your best interests to settle your agreements in mediation to avoid a judge making the final decision about your future. Attorney Kevin B. Gibbs is an experienced divorce lawyer who also offers mediation coaching services for clients who need it. In fact, Attorney Gibbs even wrote a book about mediation coaching, which helps clients prepare effectively for mediation sessions, from outlining their goals to resetting their minds for negotiation.
From child custody to parenting plans, let Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC coach you through your mediation proceedings in California and protect your family interests. Call (714) 987-9819 or contact the firm online to learn more about Attorney Gibbs’ expertise in mediation coaching.
"I used Mr. Gibbs for my divorce. He was great, very knowledgeable and professional! He was excellent at letting me know the options I had and pointing me in the best direction. He was upfront and honest about outcomes. I was very happy with his service."Joshua Lott
"I could not have asked for a better experience in the midst of a bad situation than working with Mr. Gibbs. He was honest and fair and patient and kind."Rebecca Sterling
"He is a great family law attorney and I would definitely recommend him to a friend or family member in need."Les D.