Santa Barbara Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation, in which the parties formulate a divorce agreement outside of court with the assistance of a neutral mediator. The mediator helps the parties to negotiate and resolve issues of child custody and support, spousal support, and division of property. The goal of mediation is to reach an equitable agreement that is in the best interests of both parties and of any children involved without having to litigate these issues in a court proceeding.
Benefits of divorce mediation
Divorce mediation provides the following benefits:
- Reduced costs. Mediation is generally much less costly than a lengthy court proceeding. Cases that are litigated in a court can cost three times as much as a mediated divorce.
- Positive relationships. Mediation is designed to be less adversarial and stressful than litigation. Mediation focuses on open communication and cooperation, rather than each party fighting for his or her own interests. Generally, mediation causes less stress and tension between the parties, paving the way for a smoother co-parenting relationship in the future.
- Control. Mediation allows the parties to have input in working with the mediator to reach their divorce agreement, rather than having the final terms of the divorce decreed by a judge.
- Confidentiality. Everything that occurs during mediation is confidential. A Santa Barbara divorce mediator may not testify as to what happened in mediation during future court proceedings and may not divulge what either party says to him or her to the other without written permission.
During mediation, the mediator conducts a series of meetings at which both parties lay out their goals and negotiate all issues pertinent to the divorce agreement. The number of meetings depends on the number of issues at hand and how willing and able the parties are to compromise. The mediator takes detailed notes at each session, and offers advice when appropriate.
Once all issues are discussed and resolved, the mediator drafts a settlement agreement. Each party reviews the agreement with his or her attorney and then signs it. The signed agreement is then submitted to the court for approval by a judge.
Contact Wilson & Pettine, LLP today for mediation help
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Conveniently located one block from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Wilson & Pettine, LLP represents clients throughout Santa Barbara and the neighboring area, including Carpinteria, Montecito, Goleta, and Summerland.