How Can Mediation Help During a Family Law Case in California?
Family law, like most legal cases involving loved ones, tend to be very stressful on the individuals involved in a case. While many of us think of trials going to court and playing out in a courtroom setting, there are alternative methods that can help resolve family law cases. An incredibly beneficial option to help resolve conflict is family mediation.
Family mediation services are often offered by family law attorneys that have passed a family law specialization program. Attorneys that have been awarded these specializations are known as certified family law specialists and can help.
During the mediation process, a couple going through the divorce process can meet
with a certified family law specialist to draft a marital settlement and incorporating each party’s respective terms and conditions. However, if the two individuals are unable to incorporate and accommodate each of the other’s needs, litigation may still be needed to resolve any matters that were unable to be agreed upon during the mediation period. Mediation can help avoid unnecessary costs from going to court and outline a marital settlement agreement for a path forward once the divorce is finalized.
What are Marital Settlement Agreements?
A marital settlement agreement (MSA) is a legally binding contract that is entered between two individuals that are going through the divorce process. These settlement agreements outline important agreements between the divorcing parties. Some of the most frequently outlined topics in a marital settlement agreement include.
Child Custody and Visitation – If children are involved in a specific divorce case, the marital settlement agreement will help outline a child custody and visitation schedule for each parent.
Spousal Support – During the mediation process, individuals involved in the divorce proceedings will discuss spousal support guidelines for a spouse. Unlike child custody, spousal support is more subjective and generally outlined dependent on the unique facts of each of the cases.
Child Support – If children are involved in the marriage, child support will generally be outlined to help parents calculate the appropriate amount of child support. If one parent is the supporter of the family, and the other has sacrificed a career to help raise the children, the individual that has sacrificed the career to help raise a family may be compensated with child support payments for a given time period.
Divorce & Marital Property Including Debts – California is a community property state, meaning that all joint assets and debts acquired during are owned equally by each divorcing spouse. Even if large amounts of debt were acquired by one of the parties, the debts can be equitably distributed to both parties.
Due to the high costs associated with litigation and large amounts of stress related when going to court, there are several benefits of the mediation route. If you are going through a divorce in the State of California, mediation can help resolve large issues including child support, marital property, child custody and spousal support. Mediation can create a path forward for many spouses and help minimize legal costs associated with litigation.