As a divorce mediator in Orange County, California, my goal is to help you and your spouse navigate the divorce process in a friendly and professional manner. Here is a simplified overview of how the divorce mediation process typically works:
We’ll start with an initial consultation where we’ll discuss your situation, concerns, and goals. I’ll explain our mediation process, answer any questions you may have, review our fees, including the benefits of utilizing our flat fee structure, and ensure that mediation and West Coast Family Mediation Center (“WCFMC”) are the right fit for you.
Once you decide to proceed with mediation, we’ll schedule sessions at a mutually convenient time. The mediation sessions may be in person, or they may take place over the Zoom platform. During these sessions, we’ll meet with both you and your spouse, individually and jointly, and I’ll act as a neutral mediator. My role is to facilitate constructive communication and help you reach agreements on various aspects of your divorce.
We’ll identify and discuss the key issues that need to be addressed, such as a parenting plan if you have minor children, division of assets and debts, spousal and/or child support, and any other matters specific to your situation. I’ll encourage open dialogue and guide you through the process of exploring options and finding mutually acceptable solutions.
To ensure a fair and informed decision-making process, you and your spouse will need to provide relevant financial and other important information. This may include documents related to income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. If necessary, we can also engage experts, such as financial advisors, Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® or child specialists, to assist in evaluating specific matters.
Negotiation and Agreement
With all the necessary information at hand, we’ll work together to brainstorm and negotiate potential solutions. I’ll help you consider different perspectives and evaluate the pros and cons of various options. The goal is to find common ground and reach a comprehensive agreement that addresses your unique needs and concerns.
Drafting the Agreement
Once you and your spouse have reached agreements on all the relevant issues, I will prepare a written agreement that captures the terms and conditions you have agreed upon. This agreement will be reviewed by both of you, and any necessary revisions can be made.
It is highly recommended that you consult with independent attorneys to review the agreement before signing it. This step ensures that your legal rights and interests are protected. Although, as your mediator, I can’t provide legal advice, I can provide you with a list of qualified mediation-friendly attorneys in Orange County if needed.
Finalizing the Divorce
After the agreement is reviewed and approved by both parties, it can be submitted to the court for final approval. The court will review the agreement to ensure it complies with California law and once approved, will issue a divorce decree.
Throughout the mediation process, I am committed to maintaining a respectful and impartial environment where both you and your spouse can express your needs and concerns. My goal is to help you achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution while minimizing the emotional and financial costs typically associated with a litigated divorce.
Please keep in mind that every divorce is unique, and the specifics of your situation may require some adaptations to this general process. I am here to guide you through the process and tailor it to your specific circumstances.
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to reach out. I’m here to assist you. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.
by: Jennifer Segura