Fresno Divorce Mediation
If you seek a divorce mediator in Fresno, you should contact a law firm with the necessary experience and enthusiasm for the mediation process.
Your lawyer will not be your mediator. Rather, a Fresno divorce mediator will be a third-party selected jointly by the attorneys for both spouses. But your lawyer still serves a vital role in the mediation process, in looking out for your best interests.
It helps to know how Fresno divorce mediation works. The mediator guides the opposing parties toward reaching agreement on all terms of the divorce. The process involves informal discussions between the parties and strives to work out solutions where everyone is satisfied. Divorce mediation in Fresno contrasts starkly with the traditional litigated divorce, which often boils down to a fight to win the most from the other side, and is thus inherently infused with conflict. Note that both parties must agree at the outset to honor the spirit and definitions of mediation, to resist the option to default to litigation.
Mediation has four key benefits:
- Both sides report greater satisfaction: Because the three-way conversation offers give-and-take, with divorcing spouses offering solutions instead of receiving an edict from a judge, past mediation participants report higher satisfaction levels with the method. Children of divorcing parents who use mediation adjust better to the divorce than those in litigated divorces.
- Better for relationships: Communication and cooperation are the hallmarks of a mediated divorce. Often, communication post-divorce is necessary between former partners—over childcare and custody, or a protracted dissolution of property—and a mediated process makes that more amicable.
- Incurs fewer fees from attorneys and judges: When a divorce is litigated in court, it can be three times more expensive. A mediated settlement necessarily drives toward cooperation, not competitive conflict, and therefore simply will take less time and fewer attorney hours.
- Faster resolutions: This process can move at its own pace, not that of courtroom schedules. Almost always, the mediated divorce is resolved sooner.
In other words, if a divorcing couple is able to finesse a mediated divorce, the process and results will most likely be preferable to a litigated divorce.
How Fresno divorce mediators can help you
The Law Offices of Jennifer S. Morrison advocates the use of mediation whenever possible. The process of separation and divorce is difficult even under the best of circumstances, but the dialogue and out-of-court nature of mediation can make it much less traumatic and much more constructive toward moving on for all parties—husband, wife and children.
The process generally occurs in three phases:
Phase 1: First meeting, where both spouses and their attorneys meet to discuss the general goals in mediation. This meeting should produce a written agreement on the goals and the process. The mediator will assign follow-up steps to each party.
Phase 2: Over one or several more appointments, the mediator will meet with one or both spouses to iron out details. The mediator is responsible for testing each spouse on his or her willingness to compromise and their ability to produce documents and reach decisions.
Phase 3: The mediator presents a settlement agreement that summarizes the results from Phase 2. When both spouses sign the document, it is submitted to the divorce court judge who bases his or her final ruling on that agreement.