Serving Manhattan Beach, Torrance, El Segundo & Marina del Rey
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential, win-win approach to dispute resolution that helps the participants reach their own decisions in a fair, sensible and cost-effective manner. For example, in divorce mediation, the divorcing husband and wife are the decision makers. The divorcing couple, through a series of mediation sessions with one of our experienced mediators, reaches their own agreements settling such issues as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), the division of retirement benefits and other property.
In mediation, you keep full control of the outcome. Our mediator facilitates the discussion, keeps certain ground rules in place, and provides legal information and suggestions. Once an agreement is reached that is fair to both of you, we will draft legal documents that memorialize your agreement.
The success rate for parties that self-select mediation is approximately ninety (90%) percent. The success rate for parties participating in Court-ordered mediation is approximately sixty (60%) percent. Mediation works.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation helps preserve a working relationship with your spouse . While you and your spouse will no longer be married, you will always be the parents of your children. Mediation makes it less likely your relationship will suffer a total and complete breakdown, and makes it more likely you will be able to work together to co-parent your children. It also makes it more likely that support agreements will be honored, including provisions for the payment of spousal support and for step-downs and reductions in spousal support.
Mediation is less costly than traditional divorce litigation . Our retainer for our mediation services is $5,000. Many clients complete their mediation within this retainer amount. In Los Angeles, the average cost of a litigated divorce is estimated at approximately $15,000 per party.
Mediation is less time consuming that traditional divorce litigation . Most clients complete their entire divorce in approximately 10 hours time; this represents five 2-hour working sessions with our mediator. Under California law, there is a six month waiting period from the filing and service of the initial request for a divorce until the divorce may become final. Through mediation, your final judgment may be entered before that six months has expired, with your marital status terminated on a future date conforming to the six month rule.
Mediation allows you to control your future . By mediating such issues as child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, debt allocation, and retirement funds, you not only actively participate in securing your future, you control it because you decide, along with your soon to be ex-spouse, how you will handle these matters.
Mediation is confidential . All discussions during mediation are confidential and privileged. Generally, the mediator may not be compelled to testify as to any statements made by either party during the mediation process. While your final judgment is a public document filed with the Court to secure your divorce, your financial information and personal issues remain confidential as they are never filed in Court pleadings.
Mediation keeps your children from being in the middle . With the speed, confidentiality, and reduced costs of mediation, the divorce process is smoother and less likely to negatively impact your children. In mediation, you can try out custody arrangements and parenting plans to see if they work for you and your children before committing them to a formal, binding order of Court. Current research indicates that approximately 25% of the children of divorce are "at risk"—their school work suffers, they experiment with drugs, alcohol, or sex, or they develop psychological problems. Mediation helps you put your children's health, education, and welfare first.
Mediation explains California Family Law to you . During mediation, it is important for you to make an educated and informed decision. By mediating with an experienced family law attorney, you will be advised of your rights under California law. Once you understand what the law provides, you will be able to make a so-called knowing and voluntary decision about how you want to proceed. Your decisions are knowing because you will understand the law; they are voluntary because you are your own decision maker, and there is no coercion or undue pressure in mediation.
How Do I Start The Mediation Process?
Our first meeting is a half-hour consultation to provide you with an opportunity to meet with one of our mediators and decide whether mediation is the right approach for you. We'll explain the process and provide you with an opportunity to ask questions.
Contact our Divorce Attorneys
If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers, please contact the divorce lawyers at Dean | Rosen LLP for an initial consultation. We can be reached by phone at (310)-791-4494 , by E-mailor by filling out the intake form on the Contact Us page.