Custody issues are often the most difficult to settle when a couple is separating or divorcing. Each parent wants to remain an important part of the life of their child and could be unwilling to compromise. In California, unless there are claims of domestic violence, unsettled custody and visitation issues in pending cases must first go into mediation.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation can be used to settle all issues in a divorce or only disputed issues. A divorcing couple hires a neutral third party (mediator) to help them resolve their disagreements. Family law lawyers in Temecula offer this service to couples in the area. The mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but only assists them to find a legal and mutually acceptable compromise. If mediation is unsuccessful, the court will make the final decisions.
The Advantages of Mediation
Mediation offers a number of advantages.
•If mediation is able to reduce conflicts, future co-parenting will work better for both parents and children.
•Mediation offered by family law lawyers in Temecula costs less than a typical adversarial divorce.
•People are more likely to comply with agreements that they helped to arrive at than if the decision was simply imposed by a judge.
•Court-imposed support agreements do not normally provide for college tuition and other matters that can be extremely important to a particular family. The parents know better than anyone what their children will really need in the future.
The Disadvantage of Mediation
Mediation relies on the ability of the couple to be civil and enter honestly into the process.
•A mediator, unlike a court, cannot compel either party to submit financial or other documents that they choose to withhold.
•In mediation, a single expert is often brought in to provide values for community assets. A spouse with limited knowledge of a particular asset could potentially be financially injured if the knowledgeable spouse unfairly influences the expert’s opinion.
•Mediation relies upon communication between the parties. The mediator is responsible for controlling the discussion, but a loud, argumentative, domineering spouse can put the other spouse at a disadvantage.
•Court orders may be preferable to mediation in domestic violence cases.
Mediation is one of the services offered at the law office of Michelle Penna. For more than 27 years, she has assisted her clients in solving their family law issues including divorce, child custody, paternity, guardianship, adoption, legal separation and domestic violence. To request a free consultation, click here.