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San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Why Mediation

There are many reasons why you would choose mediation for your divorce or another family conflict. Read below for some of the various benefits:

Mediation saves time and money.

Mediation is far less expensive than the cost of litigation. Divorce litigation can cost each spouse easily $20,000 on average, and you never know how much you’ll ultimately spend. We explain to you upfront the cost for all of our services, and there are no surprises. Mediation can be concluded in one or several sessions, unlike litigation, which takes years to finish.

Mediation is less stressful for you and your family.

Litigation is a very stressful process for the entire family, especially the children. Children often end up involuntarily involved in the litigation process regardless of your best intentions to shield them. As you feel stress and anxiety of the unknown venture you are engaged in, your children will feel it too. From the moment you enter mediation, you will realize that our process revolves around maintaining a happy and healthy environment for your children.

Mediation is confidential and private.

Anything that happens in mediation stays in mediation. Although not often taken into consideration when getting a divorce, anything placed in your court file becomes a public record. Can you think of anything that has occurred in your marriage that you may not want other family members, friends, or associates to hear about? In mediation, everything remains private.

You remain in control.

We want you to maintain control and divorce YOUR way. While there is structure to the process which is managed by our mediators, if there are certain “traditions” that you wish to follow, we are happy to oblige. As long as both parties fully consent to how they want to run their process, we are glad to make those accommodations. We take the time to understand what you want and work with you to make this your process. You decide how long it takes, how often we meet, and what is discussed.

You can achieve long-term resolution in mediation.

The vast majority of cases that enter mediation are successful and reach agreements out of court. Parties follow agreements reached in mediation far more often than those decided by a judge. When parties have the autonomy to create their agreements, they are more satisfied and committed to following them.

You are treated fairly and equitably.

In mediation, you will have the opportunity to tell your story if you wish, while your spouse listens. This is your one chance, perhaps your only chance, to speak your mind and obtain legitimate closure. In mediation, each party must talk directly to the other party, rather than through the parties’ attorneys. When you litigate your case, it often becomes so heated that you and your spouse aren’t even talking to each other, let alone listening.

A Letter from Jennifer and Amanda

As mediators, we are repeatedly reminded that our job is not to advise our clients as to what they should or should not do. This is what an attorney would do in representing their clients. Instead, as a mediator, we help people explore, uncover, consider, and reflect.  We act as a guide for our clients, instead of as the expert, who knows what they should do and how they should do it.  As the two head mediators at San Diego Family Mediation Center, we’ve realized it is not proper to advise our clients what to do. After all, we are a part of their lives for a mere sliver of time. Instead, it is far more beneficial for us to clear away the debris. We re-frame the problems our clients are trying to resolve, raise the right questions for their consideration, and help guide them in their own thinking. We strongly believe in and promote our clients to engage in self-determination.  You will be asked to try out different ideas, experiment with different options, reality test those ideas and ultimately choose what’s best for you. You are the expert in your own life.

Too many mediators, especially those who formerly litigated cases, tend to make mediation a type of miniature litigation. This is not how the mediation process is supposed to work. Mediation is not litigation.  We’re not here to be your expert on any one issue, but rather, to assist you in having those difficult conversations that come with any divorce. There is not a one size fits all solution for our clients, and we know how to help you decide what works for you. We do not treat mediation as litigation and instead ensure that you both feel comfortable with all agreements made. Although we are not able to advise our clients on what they should do, we make sure that our clients receive advice when necessary. We have experts available to answer all of their legal, financial, and emotional questions.