My name is Jennifer Segura, most refer to me as “Jen.” I am a professional family mediator in San Diego, California. I am writing this blog to educate people about the benefits of mediation over litigation when facing a divorce.
Benefits of Mediation:
The benefits of mediation are endless, such as flexibility, confidentiality, and control over the outcome. Mediation is a collaborative process (little “c”) in that it empowers both parties to reach a mutually beneficial solution, while litigation can be adversarial and unpredictable. Big “C” collaborative may be referred to when you hear people discussing Collaborative Divorce. While we work in a collaborative manner with any and all professionals you and your partner would like to include in your process, we do not have a default Collaborative Team, the way many Collaborative Divorce Professionals do.
Mediation is typically much less expensive than litigation. When litigating your divorce case there are various costs involved, such as attorney fees, court fees, and expert witness fees, etc. Mediation is often structured as a flat fee process, as we are at West Coast Family Mediation Center. This way you know exactly what your divorce will cost you before you begin. This allows for you to plan and budget around this cost, rather than scramble to pay an invoice month after month. Further, because we encompass our process as a full one stop shop, all of your needs are wrapped into your flat fee. This allows you to control your costs and not worry about receiving surprise bills throughout the process.
Mediation can save so much time compared to litigation, which can take years to resolve. Mediation is typically completed in a matter of weeks or months, allowing both parties to move on with their lives. The fastest we have ever completed a divorce process through mediation is 2 weeks. It is impossible to provide that type of efficiency in litigation. As a side note, in the case completed within 2 weeks, only the mediation process was completed. In California, it is impossible to receive a final divorce decree from the court any faster than 6 months from the date the filed petition was served on the responding party. This is due to the mandatory 6-month waiting period that is required of each and every divorce case that is filed in the State.
Mediation can improve communication between parties, not only through the short-term divorce process but also for future interactions as friends or co-parents. Mediation provides a safe and neutral environment for both parties to express their concerns and desires, which can lead to a more constructive, respectful and peaceful resolutions.
Mediation can be especially beneficial for families with children. Many professional mediators provide a child-centered focus, where both parties can work together to create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the children. Moreover, a process that works to insulate the children from the potential trauma that can be present during a divorce. At West Coast Family Mediation Center, we pride ourselves on creating a process that puts the kids in the most protected space possible.
Mediation can be less emotionally taxing than litigation. Mediation provides a more compassionate and empathetic environment, which can lead to less stress and anxiety for both parties. All our mediators at West Coast are full time mediators and have been trained to communicate at a very different level than attorneys who litigate. Whereas an attorney may be very stern and void of emotion, our mediators will spend the time to get to know you and your partner as people, as well as clients. Our whole team is here to ensure you feel comfortable and as relaxed as possible through this process. The calmer and more stable we can help you feel, the better decisions you will make. Litigation depends on creating a high anxiety environment that they can infuse pressure into to force you to make decisions that are in their best interests and not necessarily your best interests (and rarely in your kid’s best interests).
Mediation Consultation in California:
With all the benefits available through mediation, we always encourage our clients to consider mediation as a viable alternative to litigation. Please reach out for a free 30-minute consultation to discover whether our mediators at West Coast Family Mediation Center are a good fit for you and your family. By choosing mediation, you can save time, money, and emotional distress, while maintaining control over the outcome of your divorce.
by: Jennifer Segura