Divorce Mediation: Questions & Answers
Mediation Attorney in Orange County
Is mediation the right choice for you? Many couples have been able to successfully avoid divorce litigation by pursuing this alternative dispute resolution route. As an Orange County mediation lawyer, I have been able to help many of my clients achieve satisfactory resolutions to their cases while avoiding the expensive and tedious litigation process through mediation.
How much should I expect to pay in a mediation process?
This will vary depending on the length of your case and the difficulty involved in reaching a settlement between you and your spouse. Added factors such as child custody or business division could pack on added time and expense. Usually the mediator is paid on an hourly fee basis. Keep in mind, however, that you and your spouse will be splitting the cost of one mediator rather than paying your own separate attorney fees. All told, mediation is significantly less expensive than divorce litigation in almost every case.
How long will it be before my spouse and I reach an agreement through mediation?
Again, this varies depending on the individual couple involved. Some couples are able to resolve the contested terms of their divorce through mediation very quickly while others take weeks or even months. Either way, mediation will save you considerable time that would have been spent in a litigation process waiting on a judge's court schedule as well as other drawn-out procedures such as depositions and hearings.
Will I have to go to court?
No. A successful mediation spares you and your spouse from ever needing to enter a courtroom to resolve your divorce terms. Once you and your spouse have reached a consensus, the terms will be documented in what is called a marital settlement agreement (MSA). You both will sign this document, and then it will be filed with the court for approval and a judge's signature. Once this is accomplished, your MSA effectively resolves your marriage dissolution with as much legal standing as if it were a judge's decision.
Is mediation effective in resolving high-asset divorces?
Yes. Should your divorce involve a high net worth and contingent complexities regarding property division, outside specialists including forensic accountants and appraisers can be hired to assist in the resolution process. This litigation alternative has proved successful in many divorce cases - even those that are exceptionally complex. Many high-asset marriage dissolutions have been effectively and confidentially resolved through mediation.