Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Mediation

If you want to seek a divorce without having to take your issues into the courtroom, mediation may be a suitable option. Kathleen K. Reeves is a Certified Divorce Mediator and experienced divorce California lawyer who has helped countless families in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties resolve a number of conflicts through mediation.

Below are common questions people have about mediation. For answers to your questions, please call 510-957-9658.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a helpful problem-solving process through which two parties aim to reach an agreement about all the issues that must be resolved in order to obtain a divorce in California. Put another way, it is a neutral setting in which dialog concerning important issues surrounding your divorce is encouraged in a non-hostile manner. In mediation, the two spouses are the decision-makers regarding each issue.

What is the role of the mediator?

A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates the discussion in compliance with the California Family Code. The mediator is responsible for fostering productive conversation between the parties but does not impose arrangements regarding any of the issues that are to be resolved. The mediator's job is to help each party understand all the information as well as the other person's position and feelings regarding various issues.

How long will it take to mediate my case?

That depends on you and your spouse. Every case is different and will vary depending on the nature and complexity of the issues involved. It is important to remember, however, that California law imposes a six-month mandatory minimum between the date a divorce petition is filed and the date the divorce can be finalized. This mandatory minimum time frame applies even if you are going through mediation. In most cases, mediation is quicker than other processes.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Mediation is far less time-consuming and costly than having to go to trial. Additionally, mediation is a confidential process, unlike your divorce in court, which becomes a matter of public record. Mediation is also flexible. You and your spouse can create agreements that fit your needs rather than adhering to any arrangements imposed by a court.

How does the final mediation agreement become an enforceable court order?

Once both spouses agree on every term of their agreement, that information is drafted into a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) or Judgment to be filed with the court. Each party has a chance to review the document with his or her attorney. If both parties agree that the MSA correctly reflects their agreement, they proceed to signing it and having it notarized. The MSA is then filed with the court, along with the appropriate attachments, at which point it becomes an enforceable Order of the Court.

Contact Kathleen K. Reeves & Associates

At Kathleen K. Reeves & Associates, we think mediation is an especially helpful tool when emotions tend to run high. We believe that couples going through a divorce and dealing with ancillary issues can work out an agreement in a dignified and non-contentious manner. We are here to help facilitate that process.

Schedule a consultation to discuss mediation with attorney Kathleen K. Reeves. Call us at 510-957-9658 or contact us online.