Under California Law, divorcing couples in California can choose divorce mediation to save time, money, and the stress of litigation. The mediation process is appealing in the division of assets in a divorce, even if limited assets are involved.
If you are considering working with a mediator in the division of assets in a California divorce, talk with an experienced Divorce lawyer to get your questions answered today.
What is a Mediator, and What Role Do They Play in the Division of Assets?
A mediator is an impartial person who helps people talk through issues to enable people to arrive at solutions. The mediator is not a judge and will not make decisions or force you to agree to an outcome.
In mediation, agreements are reached only when both parties agree.
Divorce Mediation in California
Mediation is an option when you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse. You may consider using mediation to reach an agreement before filing for divorce. This could save time and money by having an uncontested divorce.
Additionally, you can use mediation at any part of the process during a divorce. You may also turn to a mediator after the divorce is final, to resolve disputes such as a change in custody.
Mediation can help spouses resolve some issues such as the division of assets in a divorce. Even if you feel that you cannot agree, a neutral third-party mediator may present issues in a way that makes agreements easier.
Property Division in California
California is a state that follows community property laws. The law indicates that property acquired during the marriage is divided 50/50 in a divorce. This is still the basic premise, whether you and your spouse are working with a mediator or a judge.
In general, mediation is more flexible in how the assets can be divided. For instance, mediation enables spouses to have more control over the outcome of their property division resolution.
Private Mediation in California Divorces
Private decisions allow more flexibility for couples. Spouses can privately negotiate their divorce terms, rather than relying entirely on the decision of a judge. The final result may be a mutually agreeable solution.
Private mediation is a place where you and your spouse can address issues such as dividing community property and debts. There is generally no set limit on the time allotted to private mediation.
Private mediation is confidential. Under California law (Cal.Evid.Code §§ 1129. (2022)., other than settlement agreement and financial disclosures, anything you say or information provided during a mediation may not be revealed or used in a later proceeding in court.
Private or Court-Connected Mediation in California
In California, court-connected mediation is free. This may make you wonder why you would consider private mediation. In private mediation, you can choose your mediator. You will likely have more flexibility in terms of time and scheduling than a court-connected mediation.
Additionally, private mediation is confidential.
Typically, court-connected mediation occurs when couples are required to participate in mediation to resolve custody and visitation issues. Private mediation is an alternative to court-connected mediation.
How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost in California?
Costs for private mediation typically range from $3,000 to $8,000. The fees vary based on whether you use a mediation service or an individual skilled mediator. The costs vary on experience, the mediator’s rate, and professional background.
Additionally, costs vary depending on the complexity of issues and the number of issues you seek to resolve. If both spouses are willing to participate and make compromises, the costs tend to be lower.
Although the costs may seem high, according to experts, mediation is almost always much less costly than going to trial. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on issues with a mediator, costs are considerably less than resolving these issues in court.
Talk to an Experienced California Divorce Attorney
If you are concerned about working with a mediator in the division of assets and how these may affect your divorce, the Law Offices of David M. Lederman is here to help. We are here to guide you through the difficult divorce process.
If you have any questions about the role of a mediator in the division of assets in your divorce in Antioch, Moraga, and across Contra Costa, Alameda, and Solano Counties, please get in touch. We are happy to talk with you. Call 925-522-8889 or send an email to set up a consultation. We are happy to discuss mediation, property distribution, or other divorce-related issues in California.