What You Need to Know About Paternity Law in California

what you need to know about paternity law in california

When DNA testing first became commonplace, it changed the way families functioned forever. However, the existence of DNA tests hasn’t erased the many complicated factors that go into navigating paternity law.

If you haven’t established paternity, or are in a difficult situation involving paternity, you’ll need to know certain things about paternity law. This knowledge will help you navigate challenges from child support to custody and more.

Ready to learn the essentials of paternity law in your state? Keep reading to learn the details that will help you through your situation.

California Paternity Law: The Basics

Paternity law is a broad term governing the legalities between fathers and children.

The simplest paternity cases are when the couple who has a child is already married. Then, under California paternity law, the husband is the assumed father of the child. This law also applies if the marriage happened during the pregnancy.

However, things get more complicated when a couple that’s not married has a child. 

If you father a child with a partner you’re not married to, you’ll have the option of signing a document called the “Acknowledgement of Paternity” to confirm that you’re the father. You can also choose not to sign that document, but in that case, the mother might get the courts involved to hold you responsible for your biological child.

Other times, it may be unclear who is the father of a child. That’s when you might need to establish paternity. 

Why Establish Paternity?

What are the benefits of establishing paternity in California? Let’s take a look.

Medical information

When you know who the real father of a child is, you can access their valuable medical history. This knowledge can help the child know about and prepare for possible genetic problems that might come from their father’s side.

Parenting rights

The biological father often has an easier time accessing the right to parent and raise their child. Both child and father can value this opportunity to be involved in each other’s lives.

Legal and financial reasons

A child who has a known father might also benefit legally and financially from this knowledge. For example, their father might pay child support or serve as a guardian. Some parents don’t want to be legally or financially responsible for a child that’s not theirs biologically.

Establishing Paternity In California

Need to establish paternity in California? 

The only surefire way to establish paternity is to take a genetic test. You have a few different options for paternity testing — here are some of the most common ones.

Pre-Natal Test

If you want to establish paternity before a child is born, you can use a pre-natal test once the mother is at least eight weeks into the pregnancy.

You’ll want to opt for the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity test, which is safer than other prenatal test options. A blood sample from the mother will establish paternity. This works because she is sharing blood with the baby during the pregnancy.

Doctors will isolate the fetus’s DNA to see the paternity of the child. 

Blood Test

You can also test paternity through the blood after a child is born.

Blood tests aren’t perfectly accurate, but they have high enough rates of accuracy to be useful.

With this test, the blood type will show who’s the likely father of the child. Genes play a role in determining the blood type, so blood type can be a fairly clear indicator of fatherhood.

Sometimes, a second test is requested to confirm the results of the first one. When both tests show the same thing, the finding is considered accurate. 

DNA Test

The newer and more accurate DNA testing provides an even better method for genetic testing.

DNA testing involves samples of tissue or blood. DNA is completely unique, so this test can’t be wrong, unlike blood tests which can only determine a likelihood of paternity. 

However, it’s still common to do at least two DNA tests to confirm findings. To take the tissue sample most DNA tests use a cheek swab. As with a blood test, samples will be taken from the mother, father, and child. 

Handling Unusual Paternity Law Situations

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a unique and complicated paternity law situation. Here are some of the more common unusual situations and what to do in each one.

Post-divorce paternity

If the child was born while the couple was married, the husband is the legal father. However, keep in mind that legal father doesn’t mean biological father.

Sometimes, a divorce can cause the legal father to start questioning his paternity. Other times, the divorce might happen as a result of that questioning. 

The divorce won’t affect the legal father’s rights as a parent. However, a genetic test that shows someone else is the biological father can change all of that. 

The legal father, even if he’s not he biological father, can still be granted custody rights and required to pay child support — even if he doesn’t want to. Courts try to act in a child’s best interest, regardless of who turns out to be the biological father. 

Having a baby with another man while married

What if the couple stays married, but the husband isn’t the biological father of the child?

These cases are never simple, and many different factors can affect the outcome. If the husband decides to fight for the right to keep the child, he might be able to maintain paternal rights even though he’s not a biological parent. However, the husband might decide to not fight for custody or other rights to the child that’s not his own.

In these and any other paternity cases, you can help ensure the outcome you want by hiring a paternity lawyer.

Need A Paternity Lawyer?

Navigating paternity law by yourself can become nearly impossible, especially if you find yourself in one of the more complicated situations listed here.

Even DNA testing won’t always clear up all the issues. You need a paternity lawyer on your side.

Our team can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How To File For Divorce: A 9 Step Guide

how to file for divorce a 9 step guide

Filing for divorce can be extremely traumatic and time consuming.

You have to be mentally, emotionally, and legally prepared before you take that big step.

It’s in your best interest to gather information, consider your feelings, and make an informed choice.

Here’s How To File For Divorce

We’ve put together a list of nine steps to help you figure out how to file for divorce.

Be Certain

Getting divorced is a huge step. You need to be absolutely certain it’s what you want before you get started. At the very least you should talk to your spouse about the issues.

Tell them how you feel and see if they share your feelings. It’s going to be stressful and upsetting but it’s the best thing to do. You should consider going to marital counseling to see if your issues can be resolved.

Of course, this doesn’t apply in cases of abuse. If you feel you or your children are in any danger you should immediately get out of that situation.

Have a Plan

The moment when you realize you want a divorce can be very upsetting. Even worse is when you’re surprised with the news that your spouse wants a divorce. Once you know that it’s coming you have to start planning immediately and how to file for divorce is the first step.

Figure out what assets you brought into the relationship and what you hope to take out of it. Marital property will have to be split according to a judge’s decision or the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement.

If you have children you have to put their needs first. Have a plan for their future before you tell them that you’re getting divorced. Don’t make it set in stone though. Let them know that their opinion matters and that they will have a say in their future. 

Get Your Finances In Order

In a lot of relationships, one spouse or the other handles most financial matters. If you’ve always let your spouse manage the bank accounts, investments, and other decisions you need to get a full accounting before filing.

This is important for several reasons. During the divorce proceedings, you can’t ask for assets you don’t know exist. You also have to consider how you’ll support yourself after divorce.

Often a woman’s standard of living will drop after a divorce while a man’s will rise. Figure out how you’ll live on your own income or what amount of spousal support you’ll need to get back on your feet. You should also check your credit score and report.

It’s very possible your score could be different from your spouses. This is especially true if they’ve made most of the financial contributions and large purchases in the relationship.

Gather Your Spouse’s Financial Information

Knowing your spouse’s finances is almost as important as knowing your own. This is especially true if they’ve been the main breadwinner. You need to know what you’re entitled to after your divorce.

Bank accounts, cash, and owned property information should all be submitted to the court. You need to know that an asset exists in order to get your fair share of them. This also lets you know what you ask for in spousal support if necessary.

Consider Your Future Relationship With Your Ex

Getting divorced doesn’t mean you’ll never see the other person again. For some people, they may remain friends after a divorce but don’t want to live a life with the other person. This is especially true if you have children with them.

Both parents have the right to be active in their children’s lives. One spouse will likely be assigned primary custody but they will have to co-parent. 

If it’s possible you should try to maintain a courteous relationship. 

Be Ready For Hard Choices

Divorce involves a lot more than two people’s relationship. It’s a legal separation of assets, children, and lives. You’ll need to make many difficult decisions before it’s over with.

If you have children everything becomes more complicated. A custody battle is honestly a nightmare. If you can reach an amicable agreement with your spouse regarding living arrangements it will make things much easier.

That being said, don’t expect to get everything you’re looking for. There’s an old saying about a good compromise, everyone walks away from the table disappointed.

Put A Team Together

Depending on your socioeconomic status and how you plan to proceed you may need a team to support you. If there are substantial marital assets and serious income differences you will have more advanced needs.

It’s important to have the best representation as well as financial support. Accountants, financial advisors, and others can help you figure out what you’re entitled to and how to protect it.

Start by getting legal counseling from a divorce attorney. This will give you much more accurate and in-depth information that will apply to your individual situation. It also lets you get a ballpark figure of how much a divorce will cost and what assets you might expect to receive.

Don’t Lie About Anything

The worst possible thing you can do in divorce proceedings is to lie. The judge hearing your case has broad powers to decide things like the division of property and alimony.

To begin with, never lie about the circumstances of your divorce. If you no longer love your spouse say that. There are no benefits to making false accusations of infidelity or abuse. You will be found out and the consequences can be severe.

Don’t try to hide any financial assets either. In every case, this is seen as a bad faith move and can negatively impact the division of marital assets.

How To File For Divorce

Once you’ve made the personal, relationship, and financial decisions you’re ready to take actual legal steps. Speak to your attorney to get the ball rolling.

Depending on what state you’re in there will be different filing steps. In some states, you’re required to go to couples therapy before filing. Once you know for certain that you want a divorce you’ll need to file the correct paperwork.

Be Ready For Changes

Deciding that you want to get divorced is a major decision. Having to figure out how to file for divorce shouldn’t hold you back. Make sure you’re certain about your decision as your life will change dramatically.

For more information about filing for divorce or pre-divorce counseling, contact us here.

The 10 Most Common Reasons For Divorce

the 10 most common reasons for divorce

“How did we end up here?” It’s a question that many who are facing divorce are asking themselves right now. And the reasons for divorce are unique to each relationship.

Truly, a divorce is rarely caused by one single reason. Marriages are each unique and complicated, with many factors determining how they end up. But there are many reasons for divorce that occur far more often than others. You’ll find these listed below.

Identifying The Many Reasons For Divorce

Whether you’re trying to save your marriage or preparing for divorce mediation, read on to learn more.

Disconnection

Time changes all things. Consider the difference ten years can make in your life. 

Your spouse’s job becomes a career. You have kids and parental duties to focus on.

Through the changes and struggles of life, many spouses focus more on these issues and less on each other. After years of this, they drift further and further apart.

They talk less and go on fewer dates. They never vacation alone anymore. Even before becoming legally separated, they have become disconnected from each other socially and emotionally.

As this internal separation continues, they start to feel separate. They develop identities that no longer include connection to their spouse. They opt for divorce because, on the inside, they’ve divorced their spouse already.

Physical Neglect

In the same way spouses loose touch with each other emotionally/socially, they can start neglecting each other physically. Even before the sex stops, the level of physical touching decreases. As partners focus more on kids and work, there is less holding of hands, hugging, and kissing between them.

This problem can grow into a decrease in sex. Like marriage itself, sexuality must be nurtured by both partners or it weakens. 

A sexually receptive partner helps a man feel and act more romantically toward his spouse. And romantic attention helps a woman feel sexually receptive.

But when one of these is neglected, often so is the other. It becomes a downward spiral which robs both partners of sexual/romantic feelings toward each other. When it evolves further, it becomes hurt, then resentment, then spite, then rage…many reasons for divorce.

Getting Married For The Wrong Reasons

Many divorced couples got along well while dating. But they weren’t prepared to spend life with the same person after everything else in their life, including both partners, changed. Often, they had a skewed idea about what marriage is in the first place.

Many see marriage as an extension of dating. They feel pressured to marry as if it’s a necessary step if they want to continue dating a person. In reality, marriage and dating are meant to be very different things.

Dating means seeing someone for now, but maybe not later. Like a job they hold or the house they live in, it is subject to change.

But marriage means spending an entire lifetime with someone, even when everything else changes. In ten years, your job, car, and the house may all be different than they are now.

You and your spouse will be different than you were. You may have kids that you didn’t before.

But unlike all these things, marriage is not meant to be subject to change. Many don’t see this distinction and aren’t prepared for the reality and commitment of a lasting marriage. 

Different Expectations

Many expect their spouse to change certain behaviors and they never do. Others expect them to stay the same and they don’t.

Unmet expectations become resentment. But, quite often, they’re unmet because they were unrealistic or unclear in the first place.

If you wanted to adopt kids, did you tell your spouse before getting married? Many spouses are angered over outrageous expectations they never cleared with their spouse before it became relevant.

One spouse wants to retire in the country next year and the other wants to spend the next 3 years abroad, seeing the world. Neither tells the other until the time comes to make the decision.

A spouse who plans their future alone will most likely spend it alone, or disappointed and resentful.

Incompatibility Of Financial Management

For a marriage to survive, both partners must have shared goals for their future together. By default, this means they must be united in their financial goals/management strategies.

If they aren’t, they make true the saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Here are some examples of what that looks like.

One spouse makes the money, the other spends it all, and then some. One spouse saves up for a house, the other uses the savings to buy a new car.

This is a no-brainer, people. No relationship of any kind can survive this way. 

The Blame Game

This goes along with getting married for the wrong reason. People get married assuming it means they’ll live “happily ever after.” So when automatic happiness doesn’t happen, they assume it must be their spouse’s fault.

“They should work harder, take me out more, appreciate me more, etc.” Often, this spite is reciprocated by the other spouse. Once one becomes convinced that all their unhappiness is their spouse’s fault, they file for divorce to cut the problem off at the source.

Inadequate Conflict Resolution

Problems like the one above stem from improper conflict resolution. A wife is mad her husband isn’t meeting her needs. Instead of discussing it with him, she expects him to read her mind or figure out the problem himself. When he doesn’t, she gets even more resentful.

Or maybe she brings it up and he blows up in a defensive rage. Or they both bicker about little issues while avoiding the real root cause of their frustration.

In such cases, the problems they’re arguing aren’t the real problems. The real problems are maturity and communication. Personal insecurities and immaturity lead one to get defensive.

They could work through their conflict together to protect their marriage. Instead, they make the argument worse to protect their own ego.

Unless BOTH spouses yield for the good of the relationship, the marriage is doomed.

Codependency

Codependent relationships are lopsided and unstable. If a spouse is incomplete by their self, they can’t actually contribute anything to the marriage. They will always feel incomplete until they form an identity of their own.

And the other spouse is no better off, either. Being married to an incomplete person is an incomplete marriage thus it is one of the many reasons for divorce.

If your spouse only exists as a part of you, it’s like being married to yourself. In other words, it’s not that different from being alone.

Infidelity

While marriage can survive infidelity, it’s a very difficult comeback. Sometimes, it’s the “wake-up call” that brings attention to existing marital issues and inspires both partners to address them. Other times, it’s the final push that sends a marriage over the edge toward divorce.

Infidelity is often a result of emotional disconnection, sexual neglect, or other marital problems.

If the marriage is already struggling, the cheated-on spouse may consider the affair “the last straw” and file for divorce.

Abuse

Sadly, physical abuse is a very real problem in marriage and other relationships. 25% of women will be violently abused by a partner in their lifetime.

Abuse should never be tolerated. If the abusive spouse will not change the abused should definitely get out of the relationship.

But physical and emotional abuse isn’t the only abuse that ends relationships. Many marriages never recover from the impact of substance abuse or other addictive behaviors of a spouse.

Top 10 Reasons For Divorce

We hope these common reasons for divorce have given you a clearer understanding of why divorce happens. Remember these if you’re making efforts to reconcile or preparing for divorce mediation.

Why Divorce Mediation Is The Best Way To Handle Child Custody

why divorce mediation is the best way to handle child custody

When parents decide to end their marriage, the divorce can have a number of psychological effects on the children involved. These include stress, anger, fear, and guilt.

Many of these feelings are exacerbated by the resulting custody battle. That’s why it’s up to the parent to make the process as pain-free for the kids as possible.

One way to do this is to opt for divorce mediation instead of a traditional divorce. This involves coming to an agreement on your terms outside the courtroom. A mediation attorney will guide you and your spouse to amicable solutions.

Divorce Mediation And Child Custody

This approach is much easier for your children when it comes to establishing custody. Let’s look at how everyone benefits.

Keep your children’s best interests in mind

The most important aspect of any child custody case is that the child’s best interests take precedence over anything else. You can achieve this much easier through divorce mediation.

By working together, you’ll be able to form a healthy visitation schedule. This means your children and you will have ample time together. You can also form a schedule that will provide the least amount of inconvenience for all parties.

With the help of a mediator, you can form a parenting plan that benefits your children’s development and emotional well-being. You’ll also be able to establish who’s responsible for financial necessities related to the children.

This is a much healthier situation than battling for custody terms in the courtroom. In these cases, parents often forget how their decisions will impact the children. In addition, the final decision is often made by the judge rather than the parents.

Protect your children from negative emotions

Divorce mediation is all about cooperation. The goal is to come to a common ground and work through your differences amicably. This makes for a much more civilized atmosphere.

On the other hand, traditional divorces are often fueled by anger. This can create a very negative environment at home. Your children will inevitably feel these negative emotions.

In addition, children can get dragged into the proceedings during a traditional divorce. This could mean appearing in court and testifying in front of a judge.

Mediation is a much quieter approach. You and your spouse can work out the custody terms with the guidance of a mediator. They’ll help keep you on track and can step in if tensions arise.

A cost-effective solution

During mediation, you and your spouse only need to hire one attorney to help you through the process. In addition, you’re not spending time fighting for terms in the courtroom. This is a money-saver for both parties.

Traditional divorce proceedings have the potential to carry on and on. This is especially true if each party continues fighting for the terms they want. In this case, both parties must continue to pay their attorneys.

However, if you opt for mediation, you can split the cost of hiring a single attorney. Furthermore, you’ll likely come to a solution much quicker than if you battle for custody rights in front of a judge.

Keep in mind that you’ll soon be financially independent. Doesn’t it make more sense to save money for you and your child’s future?

Mediation is less stressful

Regardless of the way you approach your divorce, this is a stressful time. However, engaging in mediation can make the transition much easier.

Stress can affect the way you interact with your child. This could lead to tension and problems at home.

A mediator’s job is to walk you through the process and allow you and your spouse to see the big picture. They’ll help you resolve conflicts and avoid negative emotional reactions.

Mediation will also help you come to a custody arrangement that’s less stressful for your children. This is critical during this trying time.

Remember, this is a passing phase in you and your child’s life. Instead of fighting, do your best to set a foundation for a hopeful future.

Avoid parental alienation

During traditional divorces, it’s common for parents to slander each other in front of the children. They may blame certain things on their ex-spouse or say things that could cause the children to see that parent in a different light.

This is called parental alienation. Sometimes a parent doesn’t realize they’re doing it and sometimes it’s intentional. Regardless, it has a negative impact on the child-parent relationship.

When two parents choose to mediate through their divorce, they’re less likely to engage in parental alienation. Working through their differences together instead of fighting will ease any resentment they feel towards each other.

A mediator can also help them understand how much of an impact the divorce has on their children. There’s a much better chance a couple will keep this in mind when parenting individually.

Set the stage for a healthy future

Regardless of the way you choose to settle your divorce, one thing is certain – this is the beginning of a new life for you and your children. Mediation is a great way to start that new life.

When you work with your spouse on a healthy custody plan that benefits everyone, you’re setting the stage for future cooperation. You’ll come away from your divorce knowing you can communicate effectively in order to solve problems.

Co-parenting isn’t always easy. You’re bound come to some hurdles along the way. However, forming a solid understanding of each other will help you and your children move on from the divorce and work toward a healthy future.

Mediation will also show you that fighting only causes additional problems and creates stress for you and your children.

Consider Divorce Mediation When Developing A Custody Plan

Your children’s future is the most important aspect of your separation. Unfortunately, traditional divorce proceedings don’t always allow patents to operate with the best interests of the children in mind.

Instead, consider divorce mediation and come to an amicable agreement that benefits your children.

If you and your spouse have decided to separate and need help to come to a custody agreement, we can help. Contact us for family law representation today.

The 10 Most Common Divorce Mediation Questions And Their Answers

the 10 most common divorce mediation questions and their answers

Every human that has gone through this is emotionally wrapped around these issues and feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. But Huffington Post says, when you are going through this, prepare to “engage your brain” and not your emotions. Divorce mediation alleviates many of those burdens.

If you’ve reached the point of ending a marriage through legal means, then it’s time to put your rational hat on, as that will make the process easier, and less expensive.

Any lawyer will tell you, it’s only logical.

You’ve Got Questions!

Here are answers to the top 10 most common divorce mediation questions that will have you grabbing for that hat, and breathing a sigh of relief.

What is divorce mediation?

Simply put, divorce mediation is the process used by two spouses in divorce to avoid a costly and lengthy divorce trial. All of the issues from property matters to custody sharing that would get negotiated in a divorce suit would be negotiated in the mediation process, without the traditional costly legal expenses of divorce court.

If you hire a lawyer for a custody or divorce suit, you are going to be paying for every single piece of paper your divorce lawyer touches in your case and billed for every email of complaint you send to them, and more. You’ll be paying a mediator an hourly rate and will meet with them a few times. Even the cost of mediation can be mediated.

So if your lawyer charges $300 an hour, they may bill you one-tenth of an hour for every email you send them. Thirty-dollar emails to complain about someone aren’t in every person’s family budget. That doesn’t happen in divorce mediation.

How does mediation work?

Once two parties have agreed they are going to divorce, they may then discuss the “how” of it. In many cases, one party will suggest mediation right off the bat. At this point, a mediator is hired, and you would hire your mediator in the same way you would hire any other legal party in your case. Review, research, rate, and then hire. Ask as many divorce mediation questions that you can before you sign a retainer obligation, with anybody.

The mediator will then meet with you both. Most of your mediation questions will be answered in that first meeting. Everybody’s expectations and potential outlooks will be discussed, as will your responsibilities. In mediation, you hash out everything you would in divorce court, in a less formal and more comfortable way.

This will include parenting plans, real estate arrangements, support matters, and everything else you can think of that you would settle in divorce court. Generally, a timeline is established, after which time an agreement is made which is then taken to the court to be made official.

How long does mediation take?

You’ll have an idea of when this is going to end and what your possible outcomes will look like early in the process. This is something you do not get when you launch a full-scale divorce suit that will end up in a trial. Mediate reports that in 2005, the average mediation process was settled in 90 days.

In a divorce trial, you begin the process wondering what you and your children’s future will look like and you may not have those answers for years. Even the best divorce lawyer in the world can only tell you what to expect in divorce court, but that nothing is a guarantee and you and your children’s futures are in the hands of someone else now.

Is mediation the answer for everybody?

The simple answer is no. Mediation is about a group of people getting together to solve a problem, and all parties need to be solutions-oriented when they go into it. The same is expected of them in divorce court, but in a more formal fashion, and that formality takes time and costs money.

When a marriage is ending due to power imbalances, vengeful parties, or an unwillingness to even end the marriage on one side, mediation is going to be problematic.

However, California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, and that means if one party wants a divorce it is going to happen, even if one party is rigid on the topic.

Domestic abuse is often cited as a reason to forego mediation. Divorce can also be very vengeful. On top of the emotional grips of a broken heart, there are children and a legal matter now on the table. The concept of “winning” too often overlooks the concept of a sound exit plan. Sometimes people don’t want to get divorced due to any or all of these issues. In these cases, mediation is not the best plan.

Will my vengeful spouse change through mediation?

This is situation specific. Often times the harsh realities of legal bills and judges lend to a change of heart for vengeful parties. In many cases a vengeful party will opt to sue for divorce and serve the other party with glee, claiming, “I can’t wait until a judge sees what you’ve done!”

Truth be told, that may not happen for as long as 18 months, or even longer. They may change their minds when a lawyer charging them $500 an hour tells them that revenge will be a dish served very, very cold, and an expensive one at that.

Custody plans that you want when Suzy is 9 may need to be completely different when she turns 11 and has a social life. Without divorce mediation, the reality is that you may never see the light of a courtroom until then. At the same time, in a divorce trial, you run the risk of a judge determining the future of your child.

If you want control of the process, divorce mediation is a good choice, but only if it is safe to do so and the mediation process is agreed upon and welcomed by both parties.

Is mediation expensive?

Ending a marriage and determining the future of minor children is a legal process and legal matters always come with a cost. In mediation, you control that cost. Divorce mediation is not nearly as expensive as a divorce case or custody suit that is going to trial. Having a separation agreement before mediation can lessen the costs of mediation even more.

A trial alone in divorce court could cost you thousands a day. A mediator will charge you hourly, and you only pay for your time with them. It could cost between five and 10 thousand dollars. Comparably, Straight.com notes that one divorce hearing alone could cost that much, with a five-day court hearing costing $50,000 in some cases.

In some divorce matters, one party winds up paying the costs of the other party. So your already heaping costs have the potential to double. This could happen in mediation as well, but not nearly at the expensive rate of a $50,000 (or more) divorce court process.

Is your revenge, bitterness, or heartbreak really worth a five-figure invoice? That’s college tuition for many kids today, or a few nice beach vacations to get your mind off of this major change in your life and create lifelong memories for the time you have with your kids.

Is mediation public?

No. This is another advantage of divorce mediation. You meet with your mediator as often as established and finalize an agreement both parties are happy with. None of that is public record. In the end, you take that agreement to court to make it an official order, and that is the only public record on your divorce.
The exception to this may be when a divorce mediation is court-ordered. In that event, all matters prior to mediation will be public record.

Do I still need a lawyer?

Ending a marriage is a legal process. You will be signing binding legal documents at the end that determines your future, and the future of your children if you have any. That will then go to court where it becomes a court order. You never want to go to court without legal advice, even if it’s just a matter of having an agreement made formal. It is an additional expense, but when you consider that this is the rest of your life, it’s one well worth it.

If mediation is becoming a high-conflict situation, being represented by someone more rational about the situation than you are is always beneficial. Many couples today have both lawyers and mediators, and the process is still less expensive.

A lawyer that isn’t dealing with heartbreak on top of legal fights and is fighting for your rights could even make the mediation process go smoother and sometimes even faster. It’s all situation specific, every case will be different.

Is mediation legally binding?

Once your matter goes before a judge and the seal has been set on your mediation agreement, this is a contract that is legally binding.

So for example, if you run into problems with custody sharing, real estate conflicts, or things of this nature after your entire divorce is finalized, any enforcement agencies you work with to resolve those conflicts will refer to this order as law. The mediation agreement is a more informal and less expensive process, but it is a serious one, and legally binding once the process is complete.

What are the biggest benefits of mediation?

Mediation sends the message that you are willing to conduct a legal matter in a rational and concessional way. In addition to the costs savings, the courts love it when they see a mediation matter come to the table. The court system today is clogged, and family law is always an emotionally wrenching situation.

Judges don’t want to see people arguing over 70 pages of nasty text messages, and they don’t want to spend all night the night before reading that nonsense either. They want to see clean facts aligned with the law, and parties that are conducting themselves reasonably and in line with the best interests of all involved, particularly the children.

When you bring a mediation matter before a judge, you are alleviating the court system of further stress, and no judge will ever hold that against you.

Should You Go To Divorce Mediation?

Only you can answer that question on divorce mediation. When you are undergoing this legal matter, however, it never hurts to investigate the process. Keep the emotions out of it, and you will find that when it comes to weighing the benefits and risks, divorce mediation is quicker, less expensive, and more beneficial for all parties.

Wouldn’t you rather take your kids to the ocean for the first time than paying legal bills? Get more of your divorce mediation questions answered in a free consultation with California attorney Gerard A. Falzone.

Divorce Mediation vs Divorce: Which Is Best For You And Your Ex?

divorce mediation vs divorce which is best for you and your ex

When starting a marriage and family, nobody expects things to end in divorce. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life. Between 40 and 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. If you are apart of that statistic you now need to debate, divorce mediation vs divorce.

The practice of family law has come a long way. Couples that wish to end their marriage amicably can do so through the process of mediation. This process has become quite popular over the last decade.

Of course, mediation isn’t for everyone. Some situations require litigation.

Divorce Mediation vs Divorce

If you and your spouse are facing divorce, you should understand your options before moving forward. Let’s discuss the difference between divorce mediation vs divorce.

What is Divorce Mediation?

During any divorce, some level of negotiation is necessary. Depending on the situation, this could involve property ownership, distribution of assets, and child custody.

The goal of mediation is to negotiate the sensitive elements of a divorce outside of court. Couples do this by hiring a mediator to guide them through the process.

The mediator acts as a neutral third party and helps you and your spouse come to an amicable resolution. Their role isn’t to make these decisions for you, but to help you and your spouse determine what’s best for you and your children.

At the end of mediation, you and your spouse will have come to an agreement regarding the details of your divorce and can then finalize the paperwork. This is often done with attorneys present as well.

Let’s break down some of the details of the process.

The Mediation Process

Once you’ve hired a divorce mediator, you’ll schedule your first meeting. Keep in mind the process will likely take several sessions.

At the initial meeting, you and your spouse will each get to speak openly about the situation. This gives the mediator a better sense of where each party stands.

The mediator will then ask any questions they have if anything is unclear. They’ll make sure everyone is on the same page with regard to information pertaining to the divorce.

You’ll then discuss the areas in which you and your spouse agree and disagree. This will give the mediator a sense of what needs to get resolved through negotiation.

There’s a good chance you’ll need to gather some information after the initial meeting. This could include property or asset information.

Coming to an Agreement

The second stage involves negotiating terms in order to come to a resolution both you and your spouse agree on. The mediator may choose to tackle the easier issues first and move on to more complex matters down the road.

During this stage, conflict may arise between you and your spouse. This is when your mediator will step in and help you brainstorm ideas in an effort to come to a resolution.

The mediator will also push you to be open with each other and express your opinions and emotions. They’ll help you understand the value of listening to your spouse’s option, even if you don’t agree with it.

Your mediator will also help you come to a compromise that benefits both parties. Once you’ve reached an agreement on each element of the divorce, you can start wrapping things up.

Benefits of Mediation

One of the most beneficial elements of divorce mediation is that it’s much less stressful on the children. It promotes a more peaceful resolution in which parents have a chance to think about their children’s best interests.

Mediation is also much more cost effective than traditional divorce. You avoid having to pay an attorney for lengthy litigation.

You’ll also end your divorce on relatively good terms. This is beneficial if you have to continue working with your spouse to parent your children.

Traditional Divorce

During the traditional divorce process, each party hires their own attorney. The attorneys will negotiate on behalf of their clients to try to get the outcome they desire.

When the attorneys can’t reach an agreement, the process moves to the courtroom and litigation begins. Each attorney will prepare their case to present in front of a judge.

This may even involve bringing in witnesses and other experts. In some cases, the children may even have to get involved and become a part of the court proceedings.

A family law judge will hear the arguments and decide on the outcome. They’ll dictate all the details, including child custody, support, the division of assets, and parenting requirements.

When Is Traditional Divorce The Best Option?

Although divorce mediation allows the parties to come to a peaceful agreement, sometimes it simply won’t work.

In some instances, one spouse is intent on intimidating and bullying the other. They feel that if they do this enough, they’ll get whatever outcome they desire. In these situations, the party that’s getting bullied may need an attorney to help them stand up for their rights.

Sometimes emotion gets in the way and makes mediation impossible. One spouse may either lash out at the other or refuse to communicate at all. Many times this happens when adultery has taken place and the victimized spouse is either hurt or angry.

If one spouse is attempting to hide assets or cover up information, litigation is required. In these situations, one party may be so determined to be the victor, they’ll do anything to keep the marital assets.

Another common reason for a traditional divorce is when one party either leaves or makes themselves difficult to contact. This could be intentional or because of other personal issues such as a drug or alcohol problem. In these cases, a court will need to intervene.

Divorce Mediation vs Divorce, Which Will You Choose?

Divorce is a stressful and emotional process, regardless of how you go about it. However, if you and your spouse feel you can come to a peaceful resolution, consider mediation.

When this isn’t an option, a traditional divorce proceeding may be necessary. Knowing the difference between divorce mediation vs divorce will help you decide what’s best for you.

We provide a wide range of family law services in Alameda and surrounding areas. Contact us today.

9 Common Divorce Mediation Myths Debunked

9 common divorce mediation myths debunked

By the time a couple decides to get a divorce, they’ve already been through an emotional cactus patch. The process of the divorce itself can be just as brutal. In fact, some couples put off a divorce too long for the simple reason that they hate the idea of litigation.

In many cases, mediation can be a great alternative than a battle of lawyers. The primary advantage most couples see in mediation is the lower price tag. In fact, it can cost less than one-tenth the price of divorce litigation.

So why do so many couples still choose litigation? There are plenty of divorce mediation myths floating around about mediation that turn off many great candidates. Today, our experts are setting the record straight.

Divorce Mediation Myths Debunked

Before you start shopping for a lawyer, make sure you know the truth behind these mediation myths.

You have to be friendly with your ex to mediate successfully

Plenty of people say, “I don’t get along well enough with my ex to have a productive division of assets.” These people often forget an important element to the mediation: the mediator.

A mediator has experience in the art of helping two conflicting parties find common ground. If they do their job well, they’ll keep your conversations on track and be a “referee” to help you come to agreements.

With that in mind, there are still some couples that can’t make mediation work. In cases of spousal abuse or if there’s a fear of physical violence, mediation may not be a good idea.

Lawyers recommend against mediation because you won’t get a good settlement

There are two misconceptions in that divorce mediation myth. First, many lawyers do recommend trying mediation before litigation. They’ve seen its benefits and how it can reduce the emotional damage of a divorce. They’ve also seen that it can provide just as fair of a settlement as litigation can.

If a lawyer recommends against mediation, it’s important to question why. Chances are that they’re trying to get more money out of you.

Mediation means giving up

To some couples, “I want to mediate” translates to “I’m not willing to fight for what I deserve.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, it’s a sign of maturity that you want to put yourself and your ex on a level playing field.

Mediation allows you just as much of an opportunity to stand up for what you deserve. In fact, 90% of divorce mediations are successful, so you have a great chance to reach a fair settlement.

Anyone can be a mediator, so there’s no way to tell the good from the bad

It’s true that there are plenty of unqualified people who sell themselves as mediators. However, it’s easier to find the good ones than you may think.

Look for a mediator with strong knowledge about your state’s divorce laws. For instance, find a lawyer who is also a mediator. Find out how much mediation training and experience your mediator has. Ask for references from past clients as well.

The mediator will rush me to make major decisions before giving me time to do research

Divorce mediation myths like this are common, but in reality, you’ll have just as much time to analyze and value your assets as you would with litigation. You can each take all the time you need to bring in appraisers and other experts who can evaluate your assets.

The one exception is if you think your ex is hiding assets or will try to hide assets. In this case, litigation may be best so your lawyer can investigate and find the hidden assets.

The mediator will try to pressure us to save the marriage

This all depends on what mediator you hire. Some “mediators” think of themselves more as marriage counselors who are trying to get you back together.

Be clear with your divorce mediator that reconciliation is not an option. If at any point they brag about how many couples have reconciled during mediation, run the other way.

I won’t have as much of an opportunity to fight for my kids in mediation

This is simply not true. In fact, mediation is one of the best things you can do for your kids. Court battles can be more painful for kids than parents realize.

In mediation, you’ll have plenty of time to come up with a custody agreement that works for everyone. For many exes, during the process, they come to respect the other person more as a responsible co-parent so they can remain more civil for their kids.

The exception to this is if you think your ex would provide an unsafe home for the kids. It’s rare that a couple agrees upon full custody for one parent in mediation.

Mediation will draw out the process longer

The opposite is actually true. If you compare how long mediation takes to how long litigation takes, mediation is almost always the faster course. If you want to settle the divorce and get on with your lives, mediation is probably the way to go.

Mediation Puts More Work on Your Shoulders

Some people see divorce mediation as putting the negotiating work on their shoulders rather than a lawyer’s shoulders. While that’s true to some degree, litigation doesn’t tend to save you much time in the process. Chances are that you’d spend as much time talking to your lawyer in litigation as you would spend at the mediation table.

In fact, many couples like the added control they have over the process when they mediate.

The Mediator Could Take My Ex’s Side, and Then I’m Stuck With Nothing

A mediator’s job is to remain neutral rather than fighting for one side or another. It’s important to recognize that the mediator doesn’t make any of the decisions: you do.

Even if you felt that a mediator was being unfair, it’s easy to fire your mediator and choose another mediator instead. If you choose, you and your ex can keep the agreements you’ve already made and pick up with the new mediator where you left off.

Choosing Between Divorce Mediation And Litigation

There’s no doubt about it: divorce is an uncomfortable and unpleasant process. For many couples, though, mediation can go a long way toward a more amicable process and a fair solution that leaves you with less emotional baggage. Now that you know the truth behind these divorce mediation myths, you can make an informed choice.

If you’re ready to start working through your divorce, reach out to our law offices and allow us to debunk all those divorce mediation myths.

Preparing And Organizing Your Divorce Mediation List

preparing and organizing your divorce mediation listYour marriage is over. Now what? You know you don’t want a nasty in-court divorce procedure, but what is divorce mediation really like?

In short, it’s the most amicable choice. You don’t have to be best friends with your soon-to-be ex during the mediation process, but you do have to be friendly.

Both parties need to agree to this method and willingly participate in the sessions.

Before you start making your divorce mediation list, talk to your partner about logistics. Who will pay the mediation fees? Will it be split it down the middle?

You could agree that the person who makes more pays or the person who asked for the divorce pays. It’s one hundred percent up to you and your personal situation.

Making Your Divorce Mediation List

Once you’ve found a mediator, figured out the fees, and glanced at the process, it’s time to start your divorce mediation list.

The Master List

While you’re together, make a list of your assets. Every single one! Don’t denote which asset belongs to who or who they’ll go to – just make a comprehensive list.

This doesn’t have to be everything you own, but it should be things you care about. Property, vehicles, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, anything worth dividing up.

If you’ve collected an intensive DVD collection and it means a lot to you, count that. This major list of things you’ve collected during your lives together will save a lot of headaches.

Your mediator can help divide them up equally or come up with solutions you weren’t aware of. It cuts down on tension and makes the outlook of your divorce clear.

Records

Once you have your list of assets and property, move on to records. What proof is there of your life together?

We’re talking about proof of income, house titles, car titles, social security, joint accounts – anything and everything. What are your ongoing expenses? If you’re separated, look at the bills from the last time you weren’t.

What were you spending on bills, loans, insurance, gas, groceries, and the like? Having as much information as you can will help you fill out your financial affidavit with ease.

If you fill it out and a court finds you were trying to hide an asset, they’ll hold that against you. Remember, things you sign are legally binding documents.

You need to be forthright with the truth or it could halt your divorce process.

Make An Issues List

With the logistical stuff jotted down, you can approach some touchier issues. You don’t have to figure them out on your own, that’s what your mediator is for!

This issues list can hold a wide range of things. What are you concerned most about in the divorce? We’ll make a separate list for children later.

Are you concerned about living situations? Cost of living and alimony? What about holidays, relationships with in-laws, and extended family time.

Do you expect to have family events together? Is your ex invited to family reunions, if they attend with the kids? Does it feel fair to cut them off if you have a large extended family they’re close with?

Get all your deep dark fears out on the paper. They’re not doing you any good circling around your mind. You don’t even need them to be in question form.

If they’re not something you’re willing to discuss yet or don’t know how to approach, do this on your own. Write down, I’m scared that ___ will happen after we divorce.”

These are things you can address with your mediator, therapist, or partner one on one. Putting them down on paper helps them transfer from your emotional mind into your logical one.

It may not solve your worries, but it should start to make them easier to process.

The Kid List

If you have children or fur babies, you’re likely worried about how your divorce will affect them. That’s relevant and you’re a good, loving parent for wanting to make it easier on them.

Studies show that it’s better for children to see an amicable divorce than to continue to be in a high-conflict household. Hopefully, that makes you feel better about your choice.

Things to think about and put on this list are:

Custody Agreements

If you’re separating with kids, neither of you will have full custody, unless it’s a very bad situation. Even if someone has more time than the other, you’re still co-parents.

How will you address changes in home locations? Will you try to live close to each other so your move doesn’t affect zoning? What about neighborhood friends and afterschool activities?

Who will take who where and when?

If you decide to hire a nanny, is that a cost that you two split or is it up to the individual co-parent to pay the nanny on their time?

Holidays are another matter. Who gets Christmas and Thanksgiving? Birthdays? You can alternate, but make sure the system is in place.

Do not bring your kids into this discussion yet. If they’re old enough, you should involve them in the process, but not until you have a better grasp of what will happen.

The List of Lists

Along with the specific lists in this article, here is a general grouping of things you should discuss:

  • Legal Child Custody
  • Finances
  • Child-related finances
  • Pets
  • Property and money
  • Insurance
  • Group debt
  • Guardianship and Wills
  • Alimony or Support
  • Housing Situations
  • Medical expenses
  • A list of non-negotiables

Make a list of things neither of you is willing to give up. Each person should make their divorce mediation list alone and then you can discuss them together.

If you have clashing non-negotiables, bring this up with your mediator. They’ll help you find a solution.

Following Through

A divorce is a messy process. You can make a divorce mediation list, but the general task doesn’t get easier.

Trust that yourself and your partner are making the right decision to separate and try to be kind. You will get through this and you’ll adjust to your new realities.

If you have children, show them how to handle disagreements with love and understanding. It may not heal their hurt, but it’ll shape their expectations of love.

None of this is possible without a good mediator. You can’t do it all yourself, at least not without losing your mind. Our specialists have helped many families become separate units and we can help you too!

All you have to do is call us.

How Long Does It Take To Divorce Through Mediation?

how long does it take to divorce through mediationIf there is a divorce looming in your near future, you’re probably feeling a whole host of emotions. Sadness, fear, anxiety, and stress are just a few of the things on that list. And when the thought of all the necessary business of divorce hits you, you probably feel exhausted to boot.

But divorce doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. If you and your spouse are amenable, you can decide to mediate your way through this difficult time rather than go through painful litigation.

Exactly how long does divorce through mediation take? We’ll discuss that and more today.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a process of divorce that allows both parties to take control. Instead of leaving the decisions up to a judge, you will be able to make the choices for your own future.

This method is especially good for parents and people who will need to continue to co-exist despite the divorce.

In addition to being faster and easier than a traditional divorce, divorce through mediation has a higher rate of compliance because both parties came to terms on the agreement together.

How Does It Work?

A mediated divorce involves a person called a family law mediator. This is a person trained to help people resolve their divorce issues. They act as the communication between the couple.

The mediator’s job is to make sure that everyone has their chance to speak without being interrupted. He helps clarify the points that both parties make and asks questions to keep the conversation on track with clear communication.

The mediator will also give you information about how the legal system works and what alternatives you can take to avoid them.

In general, you, your ex, and the mediator will get together in a couple of sessions that range in length from one to two hours.

The first meeting is when you will point out the things that need to be talked about and how important they are. It’s also where you will find out all of the paperwork you will need to gather up in order to speed the process along.

From there on, you’ll use each meeting to talk about the different compromises you need to make in order to meet everyone’s needs. The mediator gives information about the legal system and helpful hints for how other people have handled similar problems.

Eventually, you will meet an agreement and the mediator writes it up for you and your lawyer to approve.

How Long Does It Take?

The answer to this question varies because every marriage and every divorce is different. If you have a lot of assets that you need to divide, or if you and your spouse have a hard time seeing eye to eye, it could take a lot longer.

However, if you can both come to terms pretty easily, you could be looking at a very short process.

One of the major benefits to divorce through mediation is the fact that you won’t have to appear in court. This cuts down on the length of time considerably.

In general, easier cases take about three or four two-hour sessions that the mediator spreads out over a course of a month or so.

Here are a few of things that impact the length of divorce through mediation.

Your Assets

If you have a lot of things that you need to divide, it could take a while. There are more decisions to make.

Likewise, if you’ve come to an agreement on pretty much everything and just have one or two things to work out, the process could go smoothly.

Children

There’s no nice way to put it: children make divorce difficult. People are usually willing to compromise when it comes to financial matters. But when you add children to the mix, it gets sticky.

Expect to spend a while in mediation when it comes to the custody of your kids. But it’s worth it, you want something that’s going to work for all the parties involved.

Willingness to Compromise

Your mediator can’t tell you what you have to do. They don’t make the choices or give orders. They’re only there to help you compromise and meet a mutual agreement.

If you and your spouse aren’t willing to meet in the middle on some things, it’s going to take forever.

Complications

There are a number of complications that can make your mediation go a little longer than average. However, that’s still a small price to pay when you consider the cost and time that goes into a traditional divorce.

It’s very rare for a divorcing couple to agree on everything. But even if you can’t agree on basically anything, there is still a purpose behind mediation.

Even taking one or two items off of the list of litigation can cut down the length of time you are in court.

In fact, even if you and your spouse can’t get along, there’s still reason to attempt mediation. Even though couples who are amicable usually choose this route, it doesn’t mean it’s a rule.

It’s part of the mediator’s job to help both parties communicate even when emotions run high. It is possible to get through mediation even in situations like these.

Managing Divorce through Mediation

Divorce is hard, that’s a simple fact. It’s exhausting and it can sometimes make you feel like you don’t want to even get out of bed in the morning. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can make divorce as painless as possible when you choose to settle divorce through mediation.

For more information getting divorced and what you need to do to protect yourself, visit us today!

The Truth About Divorce Mediation

the truth about divorce mediationDeciding to get a divorce seems bad enough, but going through all the details of it is even worse. It’s hard to change your life in such a drastic way, especially when you have children and certain assets to think about.

How are you supposed to get out of this sticky situation and move on with your life? Is there a way you can do what you need to and minimize others’ pain in the process?

Look into divorce mediation.

This is one of the most beneficial tools available to couples who have decided to go separate ways. But unfortunately, not everyone understands what mediation is.

Many couples have a knee-jerk reaction to take things to court or settle things their own way, without realizing what mediation services can do for them.

Here’s the truth about what the process looks like and how it can help you.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is when two individuals who want a divorce go to the same professional for guidance. The mediator meets with them at the same time, helping each person voice their needs, concerns, and terms. Their role is to help the two individuals come to an agreement as smoothly as possible.

The mediator does not make decisions for either party and they do not speak on behalf of one spouse or another. This person can, however, help the two parties reach a mutual understanding regarding everything from child visitation/custody to financial assets and retirement distribution.

It’s a lot to talk over and there are many details to consider.

This is where divorces can “get ugly”, but with a mediator, things don’t have to necessarily be that way. The point of seeking this kind of help as opposed to an attorney is to settle things cordially in a way that’s mutually beneficial.

The Benefits Of Divorce Mediation Services

If the friendly nature of divorce mediation isn’t enough to convince you about these services, there are a few more benefits to consider. While this may be the end of the road for your marriage, it’s the start of your next chapter. Mediation can make the transition from one point in your life to the other much easier.

Here’s how:

It’s Easier To Stay On Good Terms

Say you want a divorce but you’d still like to have your ex-spouse in your life. Maybe you’ve realized there are better options out there or you’re simply committed to making a kind relationship work for the sake of the children.

Either way, a divorce battle is not a great way to start your new friendship. Having a mediator present for the divorce process, though, does salvage the good that’s left and help you both start anew.

The Decisions Made Are Fair And Productive

Before you can focus on moving on, you have to make sense of what’s left of your marriage. There’s more to separating and starting over than packing up your clothes and finding a new place to live.

Actually, who is going to get the house? Who will have the cars, the furniture, the nice dishes, and so on? These can seem like tough decisions to make but they don’t have to be.

Your mediator can help you decide everything step-by-step. They will keep you and your spouse focused on the practical matters rather than letting your emotions get the best of you.

A Court Battle Is Avoided

There are divorced couples who can stay cool and collected, and then there are those who can’t stand to be in the same room. The latter is typically what leads to court battles and family drama, which can drag out the divorce process.

A mediator helps you avoid all of that. Even if you’re not on the best of terms with your soon-to-be ex right now, the right professional can bring you both back to a common ground.

They bring you to your senses and make you focus on the matter at hand rather than holding onto past wounds or playing the blame game. This is a much more productive approach, and it tends to work out better for all involved.

Mediation Makes The Future More Secure

Whichever way you handle your divorce, you have the whole future ahead of you. But, the decisions you make right now will affect the way of life you live later.

Mediation creates a contract that thinks ahead. It sets rules and guidelines for both parties involved in case certain circumstances change.

Plus, the experience of divorce mediators helps them bring creative solutions to the table. They show you and your spouse different ways to think about what you want/need from the divorce.

The Myths Of Mediation

It’s good to know what to expect from divorce mediation services, but it’s also in your best interest to beware of mediation myths. You’ve likely heard a few exaggerations about this divorce solution.

Things like:

It’s Better To Fight For What You Want

Some people will encourage you to take things to court rather than try to talk it out. They may want you to get that “big divorce check” out of compassion for you or think they know how it goes from headlines and TV shows.

Either way, more often than not, the best way to really get what you want is to go through mediation. This solves things from a rational perspective rather than putting you and your ex at each other’s throats.

You Risk Settling For Less

What if the settlement process is easier, but you don’t get everything you wanted? This is another fear that leads people to court or other divorce solutions.

Again, mediation is all about creating a fair deal. It helps you get what you need out of the divorce while giving your spouse enough to move forward with, too. Most importantly, it’s a clean way to get things settled without putting children or other loved ones in the middle.

Mediation Is Always The Answer

As beneficial as divorce mediation can be, it’s not right for everyone. If you feel like your spouse is hiding important details from you, or if they’re a struggling addict or have some other sort of condition that may affect their thoughts/behavior, think twice before going to mediation.

The former may keep you from getting the fair deal you should have because you can’t discuss things you don’t know about. The latter isn’t fair for anyone because addiction and mental illness keep the person affected from thinking straight.

Deciding If Divorce Mediation Is Right For You

Are you sure divorce is the answer to your marital problems? Are you ready to move on, but feel wary about a possible court battle?

There’s a better answer to your problems. In fact, divorce mediation can help you and your spouse find all the divorce answers you’ve been looking for. To get the process started, contact us today.