Divorce mediation is now well-known and widely accepted. Mediation means different things to different people. In our mediation practice, you and your spouse will sit down in the same room with each other and with your neutral mediator. With the mediator’s help, you work through all the issues you need to resolve so the two of you can get through your divorce.
Mediation is flexible and confidential. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict. It allows each of you to work together as parents after your divorce. The mediator remains neutral between the husband and the wife. That means the mediator educates both of you on the law. In open sessions we educate both spouses on the things that each should be aware of, and about what each spouse is trying to accomplish. That open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.
Mediation is comprehensive resolution of all issues of divorce, including:
- Assets and liabilities
- Child custody and support
- Parenting schedules
- Medical insurance coverage
- Property division
- Tax consequences
- Spousal support
Mediation is voluntary. It continues only for so long as you, your spouse, and the mediator — want it to. Your mediator has to have a good reason to withdraw. You or your spouse can withdraw from mediation at any time, for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. There are no secrets in mediation. Because mediation is voluntary, you are welcome to, in fact encouraged to, have your own independent lawyer as an advisor between sessions; and to receive independent legal advice from your own attorney throughout the entire mediation process.
Mediation is successful! Years of research demonstrate that couples who have mediated their divorce are more likely to be satisfied with the process and the results, likely to take less time and spend less money, and are less likely to go back to court later to fight about something.
The main advantage of mediation is that it keeps you and your spouse in control of your own divorce. That can make all the difference in your recovering from your divorce and moving on with your life. Mediation allows the two of you to get through your divorce with less conflict than you would experience in an adversarial divorce. Because mediation is all about working with shared knowledge, mediation often translates to more money for you.
What We Do
We provide all-inclusive services and coordination of every aspect of your separation and divorce. You will enjoy the highest level of satisfaction with our services. Even those marriages that are often considered “unsuitable” for mediation because one spouse has significantly higher income and/or significantly more financial expertise, can be successfully mediated. These clients are our specialty, and we work to ensure their ability to make the best decisions.
Your mediation will result in a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Marital Settlement Agreement has important consequences and permanent impact. We understand that you may begin mediation worried about having little or no knowledge of divorce. We do not expect you to have any information. It is our job to educate and empower you. As impartial professionals, we are committed to providing solid, up-to-date information with a clarity that each person can understand.
We offer expertise in mediating legal, financial, and parenting issues. We provide you with the relevant and important information needed to reach a fair and equitable divorce agreement. Legal expertise is critical to a good settlement that complies with California law.
We will prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement that is tailored to your unique needs. You are hiring a mediator to perform two functions:
- To assist you in reaching a fair divorce settlement
- To understand the settlement parameters, so that the divorce court judge will approve your Divorce Agreement
Mediation is the most cost-effective way to obtain a divorce, as you will:
- Have one mediator who serves both of you fairly
- Reach a divorce settlement that is fair to each person
- Achieve settlement in less time than with a litigated divorce
- Use a mediator to complete all court documents including financial information, disclosure documents, and final divorce judgment papers
- Use a mediator to document financial information rather than the adversarial costs of subpoenas, depositions, and interrogatories
- Attend a one-time court hearing rather than multiple costly court hearings. Or complete the entire divorce through the mail, without ever having to go to court.
All mediation services are based on an hourly rate as follows:
John E. Harding, J.D. $450.00 per hour.
Costs are also billed. Costs include, but are not limited to, process server’s fees, fees fixed by law or assessed by courts or other agencies, court reporter’s fees, long distance telephone calls, messenger and other delivery fees, postage, in-office photocopying.
All fees are due at the time of each session.
Payment forms are Visa, Master Card, checks, and cash.