Both divorce mediation and collaborative divorce are alternatives to traditional divorce litigation. They involve a team of professionals who work with the parties to reach an agreement that resolves all issues necessary for the divorce, including custody and parenting time, property division, and spousal support. Collaborative divorce and mediation are both more efficient and cost-effective than traditional litigation. However, not all couples are suited for either process. In fact, in some situations, such as when there is an imbalance of power or a history of abuse, the alternative processes may actually make the situation worse.
With both collaborative divorce and divorce mediation, the couple retains his or her own attorney to represent him or her in the negotiations. Each lawyer is trained to provide legal advice, but each has a duty to act in the best interests of their client. Typically, two other experts, one in the financial area and one in the mental health area, will be part of the team as well. The collaborative process is less formal and more efficient than the litigated divorce, which can be up to 14 months long and is more expensive.
During the divorce mediation process, the mediator acts as neutral facilitator and helps couples communicate effectively, so that they can negotiate a settlement that meets both parties’ needs and concerns. The spouses are encouraged to bring in their own attorneys for private consultation, but they rarely participate in the mediation sessions.
When a settlement is reached, the mediator will draft an all-inclusive separation agreement that will be filed with the family court along with the petition for divorce. The separation agreement will contain the terms of the divorce, such as custody and parenting time, property division, spousal support and child support.
The Law Offices of Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP has a family law practice that focuses on divorce-related matters in Sacramento. Our team of attorneys has more than 25 years of combined experience in family law cases, and we regularly attend continuing education classes and seminars to expand our knowledge of family law topics.
We help our clients create strategies to resolve property and business division disputes, custody and relocation issues, and other marital problems involving children, spousal support, and other family finances. We can also assist you with post-judgment issues, such as custody modifications or changes in your financial circumstances. For more information about our firm and how we can help you, contact us at your earliest convenience. We can schedule a consultation at your home, our offices or online. We serve clients in the Sacramento region and throughout California. If you’re considering a divorce, call our law firm today to learn more about how we can help. We can guide you through divorce mediation or collaborative divorce so that you can move forward with your life. We offer free initial consultations for new clients. Please note that we do not represent children in custody or visitation disputes. Those cases should be handled by a child custody attorney.