Chances are, when you decided to get married, you followed your heart. But if your marriage is ending, you will have to make decisions based less on feelings and more on facts and practicality. Yes, there will be plenty of emotion, especially if there are children involved—but circumstances, ability to communicate (or not), finances and specific issues are the determining factors as to whether mediation or going to court is the right choice for you.
When is a Fresno divorce mediator your best option?
The advantages of a California divorce mediation are that it allows you and your spouse to negotiate your own terms in a private, safe and cost-effective manner. It is often a good choice for couples who want to reach an agreement that involves the courts as little as possible, even if they seem far apart on terms. Mediators are neutral and do not take sides or give advice. Instead, A Fresno mediator facilitates constructive, positive communication, helps “brainstorm” ideas and helps divorcing couples reach a settlement that is mutually acceptable. Mediation is legally binding if it is in writing and signed by both parties and for that reason, it is in each spouse’s best interest to have their respective attorney review an agreement before it is signed.
In mediation, couples can work through all issues and terms of a divorce, including:
- Division of property, including both assets and debts
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Child support
- Child custody/parenting plan
When do you need a Fresno divorce attorney?
Even if you decide to go the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) route, it is a good idea to have an attorney who can give you legal advice and make sure that your best interests are being protected. In the case of a mediated settlement, the attorney will review your settlement. In a collaborative divorce, your attorney guides you and is your advocate, even though you and your soon-to-be-ex are negotiating the terms of your divorce with a team of professionals.
In a “traditional” divorce, your lawyer works to get you the best possible settlement. They organize all the necessary documents—including checking, savings statements and mortgage statements, credit card bills, pay stubs, income tax returns and all other information required to complete the Financial Disclosure required by the courts—and will make sure that your spouse supplies his or hers as well. Your attorney will handle all correspondence with your spouse’s lawyer, assess whether experts (such as forensic accountants, real estate assessors or child psychologists) may be necessary to support your case, and help you negotiate equitable terms.
In cases that involve domestic violence, substance abuse, power imbalances within the relationship, or if you believe a spouse is hiding assets, it is recommended that you have an attorney who can make sure that your interests are represented and protected.
The benefits of working with Rebecca Medina: skilled lawyer and experienced mediator
Regardless of the path you choose for your divorce, work with someone who understands your needs and can guide you through this difficult time. As a mediator, Rebecca Medina brings compassion and a natural ability as a facilitator, helping couples find common ground so they can reach decisions that work for both of them and their family. As an attorney, she can advise you through a meditated process as your legal advisor. Or, if litigation is in your best interest, she will be your staunch advocate throughout the divorce.
To discuss your needs, please call us at (559) 785-3295 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.