Dispelling Common Myths About Mediation
Divorce is a stressful and often painful process. There are numerous decisions and agreements former spouses must make throughout the process. While reaching agreements is difficult, divorce mediation can greatly facilitate the process. Because of this, it’s important to be able to dispel any common myths you’ve heard about divorce; doing so will help you avoid mistakes.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process in which an independent third party is a facilitator in decision-making. Divorce mediation allows the parties to state their positions, present proposals, and counterproposals, and eventually reach a settlement.
Please note that divorce mediation is not part of official court proceedings. In fact, mediation may become a viable alternative to a long, drawn-out legal process. The agreements reached in divorce mediation can then become part of the final divorce settlement.
Divorce mediation can help in situations such as:
Setting alimony payments
Determining child support
Division of assets
Custody arrangements / agreements
The parties can also proactively seek divorce mediation to speed up the overall divorce settlement process.
Common Myths About Divorce Mediation
I have encountered a number of myths surrounding divorce mediation in my career. These myths often stem from misinformation or a lack of awareness. I’m here to provide honest facts about divorce mediation in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California. Please reach out to me if you have any questions relating to these common myths or any other questions relating to the divorce process. I am ready and prepared to serve you and your family. Some common myths include the following:
Myth One: Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Involve Lawyers
Divorce mediation doesn’t require lawyers. But that doesn’t mean divorce attorneys aren’t involved. Mainly, divorce attorneys provide legal advice so that your right enforced. In essence, a trusted divorce attorney ensures you don’t get short-changed.
Myth Two: Mediation Agreements Are Not Binding or Enforceable
Many of my clients ask me, “Is mediation enforceable or binding?” In short, yes. When the parties enter divorce mediation, the contracts they sign bind their agreements. Once the court approves the agreements, they become enforceable, just like any judge’s decision.
Myth Three: Mediation Must End in an Agreement
Mediation can be an alternative the parties seek before going into litigation. If a settlement is not reached, then divorce proceedings go to court, where a judge rules on the issues.
Myth Four: Seeking Divorce Mediation Is a Sign of Weakness
Mediation is a perfect way to avoid engaging with an ex-spouse, particularly if they are rude or aggressive. Having a divorce attorney can help protect you, your rights, and your children.
Myth Five: Courts Are Not Involved in Divorce Mediation
In some instances, a judge may require mediation before allowing the case to go into litigation. Alternatively, one or both parties can ask the judge to seek divorce mediation before taking the case into litigation. Ultimately, the court upholds divorce mediation agreements to avoid litigation.
Myth Six: Mediation Doesn't Work
In my experience, divorce mediation is a great first step in any divorce process. Mediation allows the parties to reach an amicable settlement. Reaching a settlement as fast and smoothly as possible is a great way to reduce pain and stress while ensuring your rights are protected.
Divorce mediation can be an extremely positive alternative to costly litigation. Here are three main benefits you can get from divorce mediation.
Cost savings. Divorce mediation is much cheaper since you save money on legal and court fees.
Time savings. Seeking divorce mediation can greatly reduce the time needed to finalize a divorce.
Peace of mind. Choosing divorce mediation reduces the stress and aggression that comes with litigation.
Divorce mediation is a worthwhile alternative to traditional family court litigation, and it can be the better option.
When Should a Mediation Attorney Become Involved?
While not legally required, I highly recommend my clients hire a trusted divorce attorney to represent them in mediation.
The answer is simple. The other party may show up with their mediation attorney. You set yourself up for the worst outcomes if you don’t have one. A trusted divorce attorney allows you to understand and protect your own and your children’s rights throughout divorce mediation proceedings. Moreover, your attorney can raise issues and concerns with the court on your behalf.
Finding the Right Mediation Attorney in California
At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, we are committed to providing our clients with the best service possible. I give clients my personal guarantee that we will do everything we can to protect their rights. The people of Ontario and Riverside, California, have come to trust my staff, and myself, thanks to our work ethic and human touch. Call my firm today to find out how I can help you protect your rights, and together, we can strive to get what you deserve.