Monthly Archives: February 2013

When Is The Right Time for Divorce Mediation? 3 Key Times to Consider


This article will discuss three important times when mediation should be considered for married or divorced couples.  Divorce mediation can be used before your matter is filed in court, or after your divorce has been filed.  Additionally, mediation can be used to resolve issues that arise after a divorce is final.

1)  Before Divorce Documents Are Filed
Mediation requires that both parties agree to participate.  In an ideal situation, a couple, who has decided to end their marriage, gets a San Mateo divorce mediator involved before they file anything with the courts.  In California, it is possible to have a divorce mediator handle all aspects of a divorce proceeding, and to never involve attorneys.  Also, it is possible for the divorcing couple to never have to appear in court.   A divorce mediator should advise the couple that they are welcome to have their agreements reviewed by an attorney(s), but it not a requirement.  The advantage of having a San Mateo divorce mediator, who is also an experienced family law attorney, is that the mediator knows the issues that a couple must address, and the proper paper work that must be filed to end your marriage.

2)  After A Divorce Proceeding Has Begun
More often than not, one spouse initiates a divorce proceeding.  Oftentimes couples do not even know about divorce mediation until after a divorce proceeding is initiated.  Many attorneys are not inclined to tell their clients about divorce mediation, as let’s face it, a quick resolution of your case will mean less fees for them.    Never-the-less, at any point in your case, you have every right to use mediation to resolve whatever issues still need to be resolved.  Attorneys are typically not present during divorce mediation sessions.  However, you are still welcome to have your attorney involved to review whatever agreements you and your spouse come to in divorce mediation.   Any issues that you can resolve using a San Mateo divorce mediator will save you in terms of conflict, expense, and time.

3) After A Divorce is Final
Even after a divorce is final, a variety of issues may arise.  Unexpected or unanticipated things often occur as that is the nature of life.  This is especially true regarding children.  Often a parenting time schedule that was put into place when children were very young, simply does not work as children get older and involved in activities, or parents move, re-marry, or gain different employment.  It is always in the best interests of your children, if you can resolve issues with a limited amount of conflict.  Mediation is a very helpful tool to help parties resolve issues and revise agreements without getting into a nasty, expensive, unsatisfying court battle.

For more information and to arrange a free initial divorce mediation consultation, contact Lisa Nelson, Divorce Mediator at San Francisco Area Mediation (SFAM) at (650) 556-8880.


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