Mediation is a process whereby parties going through a dispute meet with a trained family law mediator, face to face and work out their disputes in a peaceful manner, outside of court. The mediator prepares all the documents for the parties’ and commences a case in court on behalf of the parties and finalizes a settlement on behalf of the parties. Mediation is an alternative approach to the litigated approach, which is when two parties hire two separate lawyers to resolve the issues between parties. In the litigated approach, the parties usually spend a lot more time and money in resolving disputes, and the process is generally more strenuous and can be extremely taxing. In addition, there can be substantial delays when a divorce case is litigated as opposed to mediated.
A successful mediation case is one where both parties do not have any objections meeting with the mediator in the same room as the other party at the same time. If there is a history of domestic violence and abuse, then mediation may not be safe. However, if the parties are willing to hear each other’s positions and come to mediation with an open mind, then the Mediator can help guide the parties towards a peaceful resolution of their case at a fraction of the costs of hiring a lawyer to litigate a case in Court.
There are few things more stressful in life than a divorce or separating from the parent of your children. Proceeding through protracted litigation and multiple hearings, taking depositions and placing friends and family and children on the witness stand can result in very damaging results for your children and your relationships. In addition, on a case that goes to trial, parties can expect to spend over $25,000 easily for a short trial, not including the cost of experts and accountants if needed. These are funds that parties can save for themselves and spend on their own needs and put towards their children’s college education and other expenses.
Mediation offers a proven and time-tested route for parties to settle disputes without the hostility of litigation and at a fraction of the price. If you have children with your ex, then you will need to have communication with your ex while your children are minors. Mediation offers a way for both parties to keep the lines of communication open and minimize the hostility that traditionally arises from court proceedings. Think of mediation this way. You have everything to gain and very little to lose.
Although it is not required that you hire a separate lawyer to represent you during mediation, we do advise that each party retain an attorney to review the final agreement drafted by the mediator. The mediator does not represent either party and cannot give the parties’ legal advice as to the specific terms of their final agreement. However, this is an opportunity for each party to speak with their own attorney or accountant or hire an attorney or accountant on a limited scope basis to review their final agreement and advise them on the legal and tax consequences of the agreement.
Attorney Sanjay Paul is one of the most highly rated Family Law Attorneys and Mediators in Los Angeles because he takes the time to address each case with attention and care. Mr. Paul is a seasoned Family Law attorney, who has represented numerous clients in court on divorce proceedings, child custody, child and spousal support, property division and parentage actions. Mr. Paul has also completed extensive training in Family Law Mediation through one of the most preeminent Mediators in the country, Mr. Woody Mosten. Therefore, Mr. Paul has the experience, education, training and background to mediate the most difficult cases.
Typically Mr. Paul will meet with parties for sessions of two-hours or less at a time to exchange information and work through the issues. At the conclusion of every session, Mr. Paul will send the parties a summary of what was discussed and what homework was assigned if any to the parties and what the next meeting will accomplish. Everything discussed in mediation is confidential (subject to certain exceptions) and participation by the parties is voluntary.
If an agreement is reached in mediation, Mr. Paul will draft the agreement and give the parties an opportunity to review it with a lawyer and a financial consultant of their choosing prior to signing the Agreement. Parties are expected to treat each other with respect during mediation and there is no yelling or screaming allowed.
Every case is different and therefore it is hard predict with accuracy how many sessions parties will need. If the parties are in general agreement over the terms and wish to proceed quickly, generally an Agreement can be finalized within a few sessions.
Give us a call today for an informational packet or to speak to Attorney Sanjay Paul about the specific facts of your case. Let us help you regain security and your peace of mind.