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Family Law Mediation

Family Law Mediation
There are many reasons to consider mediation when encountered with a divorce situation. Compared to traditional litigation, Mediation is fast, confidential, fair, and more cost effective. In contrast, lawsuits can sometimes take many months, or even years, to resolve which tends to be extremely stressful and emotionally draining. The number of mediation sessions varies
depending on each individual case, but the main goal of these sessions is to create a parenting plan that serves in the best interest of the children. If no agreement is reached over the course of the mediation process, and it appears that further sessions will not be productive, the case is likely to be referred back to the court for a hearing wherein the judge makes a decision regarding the most appropriate parenting plan.

The common goals of family law mediation include:

  1. Assisting parties in maintaining a smooth transition throughout the marital separation process,
  2. Assisting clients in overcoming the emotional and legal obstacles they may encounter during divorce, including those involving child custody, visitation, division of assets, support payments, relocation and devising an appropriate parenting plan,
  3. Improving the family structure and dynamics through appropriate communication, and
  4. Serving as a neutral third-party between the parties and the legal system by preparing and filing all necessary judicial paperwork.

Child Custody Mediation at Family Court Services
Mediation allows for parents to have the opportunity of creating a parenting plan for the care of their children after separation. A parenting plan contains decisions made by the parents or the court about the living arrangements and other regular contact that the children will have with their parents after the divorce.

Throughout the mediation process, the following procedures may typically take place:

Parties are asked to completely fill-out and sign an information form with honesty, accuracy and integrity. The information form may be obtained and completed prior to the initial mediation appointment. The mediator reviews this form to obtain basic information about each individual case.

The mediator has the option of meeting with the parties together and/or individually. In domestic violence cases, individual sessions may be the most appropriate approach. The mediators will ask questions in an attempt to learn and understand the family history.

The mediator and both parties will determine the issues that need to be resolved. When appropriate, the mediator will assist the parties in an effort to set aside their individual disputes and focus their energy and attention on developing arrangements that are in the best interest of the children involved.

Mediators share information on the basic and developmental needs of the children. Parties are able to address issues including parenting plans including holiday and vacation schedules, legal custody, transportation and a variety of other important areas that address the needs of the children.

Parties are encouraged to consider all options and solutions presented during mediation.

If there is a child custody dispute between the two parents, mediation is mandatory. If there is any kind of contested issue regarding children, the opposing parties are required to attempt to resolve their issues through mediation before seeking court intervention. Although an attempted agreement through mediation is required, reaching an agreement is not.

In some jurisdictions, there are recommending mediators, and in others there are not. Contact a competent family law attorney to educate yourself in regards to the strengths and pitfalls, and how to prepare for each.

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San Rafael Divorce

© Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle
Marin County Family Lawyer, Divorce Attorney, & Child Custody Law Firm

The Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle covers these geographical areas for your legal counsel: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, San Francisco, Tiburon, Marin County, Solano County, San Francisco County and Sonoma.

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