When you are preparing for a divorce, it is important that you explore and understand your options.
In mediation, an impartial person (the mediator) helps people reach an agreement they can both accept. The mediator helps people talk the issues through in a way that often makes it easier for the couple to settle the dispute themselves. Mediators do not make decisions. Agreements can only be reached if everyone agrees. The mediator will not force you to agree to anything.
Mediation is one of the most often used methods to negotiate divorce settlements. Mediation allows both spouses to discuss unresolved issues and reach an agreement in lieu of litigating in court. The mediator does not make any decisions for either spouse but instead the mediator facilitates you and your spouses' discussions.
There is a huge value to mediation. It can be less emotional and you have more control as you do not have a Judge deciding your family's fate. It can also be easier and less expensive if you and your spouse are able to settle without litigation.
Collaborative divorce (also called “collaborative law”) is another approach to handling your divorce. In a collaborative divorce process, you and your spouse negotiate an agreement with professional help. You each hire specially trained collaborative lawyers who advise and assist you in negotiating the settlement agreement.
You meet separately with your own lawyer. The lawyers and both clients also meet together regularly. Sometimes you and your spouse can bring in other people, like child custody specialists or accountants, to help you settle your case without having to go in front of a judge in a contested case.
For a collaborative divorce, both spouses or domestic partners and their lawyers usually sign a contract that says they agree they will not go to court. If the parties cannot reach a settlement and end up having to go to court, the lawyers agree to withdraw from the case. If that happens, you will have to get a new lawyer or represent yourself.
Litigation is the process of taking legal action. This generally means having the issues in your case argued in front of a judge because they are contested, in other words, you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement.
Here at Ham Family Law we have experience with and specialize in both litigation, mediation and collaborative law. We know the value of settling a case, however, we are also willing and ready to fight should the need arise.
If you find that you are ready to move forward, please do not hesitate to call Ham Family Law, P.C. at (510) 414-7417 to schedule a complimentary consultation and see if we can assist you in your matter.