Mediated California Divorce : When & Why To Start Your Divorce Paperwork

If you are going to have a mediated California divorce, you may want to also consider starting your divorce paperwork at the same time. Mediators will generally only handle the mediation of your divorce and help you come to an agreement, but they generally don’t handle the paperwork. And people are surprised that after they have spent several months in mediation that they never started the process on the 6 month divorce process with the courts which just causes delays.

Mediated California Divorce : When & Why To Start Your Divorce Paperwork

Today we’re talking divorce mediation and the process of doing that and what we encourage you to do and I’ll give you the rationale behind it.

If you’re going into mediation, mediators will typically mediate your entire divorce case before any action is taken with the courts. Let me give you an example or let me give you some opposing views.

We File Your Divorce Case First To Start The Clock On The 6 Month Process

If you call us, the 1st thing we do is get your case filed, get it served, so we can start the clock on the process. Then it can take as long as it needs to take. 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year. You can do your mediation. You can go through that process, but the benefit to filing initially is that you start the clock on the 6 month process.

Why Spend Months Mediating & Never Start The Court Process?

Here’s the alternative. If you go to mediation and let’s say you spend 6 months in mediation, you finally iron out your agreement, you have a memorandum of understanding drafted for you and you say okay, let’s go through the divorce process, you basically it’s as if you’re just getting started. You have to file a case.

File & Serve Divorce Papers And Then Mediate

You have to have the paperwork served and the 6 month clock starts after you come to all of your agreements. Now that’s fine unless you’re hoping to have your divorce case completed faster. If that’s the case, you can go ahead and do your mediation, but at the same time, go ahead and call us so we can get your paperwork started for your divorce, get it served, start the clock and then take as long as you want.

That way when your memorandum of understanding is completed and you guys are all in agreement and done, you can literally finalize right there on the spot. Tim Blankenship, Thanks for watching. Hope this was helpful and have a great day.

Divorce Mediation Interview With John Morrison of Morrison Mediation

I conducted a comprehensive interview with John Morrison of Morrison Mediation where we discussed divorce mediation. We talked about just about anything you would need to know when going through a divorce in California and whether using a divorce mediator would be useful or appropriate.

Below is the full 35 minute interview, however, I will be breaking the interview down into smaller bit-size bits as well so you can quickly find the answers you are looking for related to divorce mediation in California.

I will make sure to link to all of the individual parts of the interview so you can quickly listen to the portion of the interview about divorce mediation that interests you.

John Morrison and I talked about some really interesting topics related to divorce mediation in California. We talked about when you might want to use a divorce mediator, to if it is even appropriate in your case. We talk about how to choose a divorce mediator and why if you have complex financial issues you may want to consider using a mediator who is learned in complex financial issues.

John Morrison is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Now I have spoke and interviewed many divorce mediators, but never spoke to someone that held this designation and it was very interesting to learn about this specialty.

You can learn more about John Morrison at MorrisonMediation.Com

How Much Does Santa Clarita Divorce Mediation Cost

How Much Does Santa Clarita Divorce Mediation Cost

If you are going through divorce in Santa Clarita, one option you might want to consider is Mediation.  Mediation costs are much less than hiring an attorney for your Satna Clarita divorce.  In fact, the cost of mediation and our Santa Clarita divorce mediation services combined, will cost you less than half the amount you would be asked to pay for a lawyers retainer fee for your Santa Clarita divorce.  Watch this video for more information about how much Santa Clarita divorce mediation cost.

Tim: Mediation let’s tell folks how low cost it could be.

Lisa: Okay.

Tim: With mediation let’s say combined with our service where let’s say we are your Legal Document Preparation, we do the paperwork for them, we take care of all of going to court filing and serving all that.

Lisa: Right.

Tim: But they need help with the agreements.

Lisa: Okay.

Tim: So we can kind of work cohesively together, our two companies I would say we get this case filed and get things started and get their financial stuff out in the open.

Lisa: Right.

Tim: Get that stuff done. And then generally, is that a good time for them to start the mediation process?

Lisa: Yes. So the way that I work it and I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve talked to a lot of Mediation Firms and I’ve worked with and I’ve gone through lots of pretty intense trainings.

I continue to go and learn new things. The field is just expanding very quickly. And I’ve talked to everybody that I can about ‘Well how do you set up your process? And how do you have your fee?’

And you know most of attorneys they do it with the way attorneys do it.

Tim: Right.

Lisa: And is pretty uniformed and that’s how they do it. Non-attorney mediators have a bit of a different and we can be more flexible.

And we can decide–we’re going away from the attorney set up as far as fees. My initial consultation is free.

Call me on the phone and ask me as many questions as you want. I’m not going to charge you for it. I’ll take 30-60 minutes with you and explain the process.

I’ll let you ask as many questions as you want. I’ll send out a pocket before that you can read through.

And ask any questions about that, the mediation agreement, what it all entails and then after that it’s a $150 per hour per party for each session.

And they usually last, each session we max out at three hours. I find that after three hours people just don’t want to think anymore.

That’s about the maximum. And I know I have heard about marathon mediation sessions that go all day long and people are just dead.

They can’t think anymore. They don’t want to talk anymore. They don’t want to try to come to any kind of agreement anymore.

And there’s not a whole lot of progress made. So I’ve decided that three hours chunks.

If it’s a simple mediation and then the partners have talked extensively before they even come in a three hour session is probably all they need.

Tim: And they may be mediating in every part of them?

Lisa: Exactly.

Tim: Or maybe just a single issue.

Lisa: Exactly. So –

Tim: Right?

Lisa: Many times I’ve had attorneys that don’t want to deal with the emotional parts of mediation where children are involved.

They asked me to step in and do the parenting plans because that’s something that they’re not comfortable with. They don’t like the wife crying.

They don’t want to hear all about the trauma and they say, ‘Hey you know Lisa is a mediator. And she’s going to help you out with the parenting plan. And hopefully the two of you can figure something out as far as the kids are concerned. And then you can come back and we can talk about your money.’

Tim: So what is the Math on that? You said a $150 per hour per party?

Lisa: Per party

Tim: Per session.

Lisa: So it’s like $300 if you go to a three sessions. So it’s 900 bucks for that session.

Tim: For three hours?

Lisa: For three hours.

Tim: Okay.

Lisa: If it’s an extensive mediation to where they haven’t even thought of anything, they’re just starting the process sometimes it will take two or three sessions to get through all of what they need to come up with the best agreement.

Tim: It depends on how much they have?

Lisa: But there’s no hidden cost. They’re not going to get a bill.

And I usually ask them to pay that before the mediation depending–

Tim: Okay.

Lisa: And if it go shorter then I refund them as ‘Okay, I think this is probably going to be two hour session.’

Tim: Yes.

Lisa: And we knocked it out with an hour and a half. Then I refund that amount.

Tim: Sure.

Lisa: There are no hidden costs. And as far as the filing this is why I think our two companies is such a great partnership because as a non-attorney mediator, I don’t have the legal background.

I’m not allowed. It’s illegal for me to drop any kind of legal documents.

Tim: Same with us.

Lisa: So I—

Tim: We’ll draft legal documents.

Lisa: Right.

Tim: Okay, and then Lisa you give legal advice?

Lisa: No. No legal advice.

Tim: Yes.

Lisa: I always say, ‘You know what? It’s probably –‘

Tim: We draft legal documents.

Lisa: Yes, I was going to say that’s what you do but no legal advice.

Tim: Right.

Lisa: And—and attorney mediator shouldn’t be doing that anyway. But as a non-attorney it’s easy for me because I don’t do the law. That’s not what I do.

Tim: Right.

Lisa: So that’s where I say, ‘but I have this great company that will get everything together that needs to be filed. And your costs are also extremely low.’


How Mediation Works During Divorce In California

Live Broadcast Thursdays at 1 p.m. ( This Event Has Been Moved To Thursday, June 12, 2014)

In this live broadcast, we will be talking about divorce mediation, how it works, and the different types of divorce mediation services out there.  

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Santa Clarita Divorce Mediation | A Santa Clarita Divorce Service

What does it mean to mediate your divorce?  Want the easy answer?  Good!

When you go to a mediator, you are asking a neutral third party attorney to assist you with coming to an agreement about the terms of your divorce.

A mediator will work with both spouses to explain how the law works so you can make informed decisions on how to best divide your assets and debts and to work on parenting plans, etc.  Essentially, mediators will help with whatever issues you are unable to resolve on your own.

Once you are in agreement, they will draft a “marital settlement agreement” or MSA which you will sign.

But why are we discussing this on a divorce document preparation service site you ask?  Because mediation is the next step if you cannot come to an agreement on your divorce.

Let me give you an example.

Many people who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on their divorce come to me to prepare their divorce for them.  These folks are mostly in agreement on the terms of their divorce.  But there may be one or two sticky points they are still working on.

What we will do is get their divorce filed and start the process.  We will prepare and complete all the necessary mandatory forms including the financial disclosures.  Once this is done, you are ready to work towards some type of agreement on the distribution of your assets and debts.

Let’s assume at this point that you are unable to come to an agreement on say a parenting plan or the amount of support to be paid.  Where you are unable to make decisions, using a mediator can help.

A mediator can provide you with the information you need so you can make informed decisions.  A divorce mediator is far better than the parties going out and hiring individual attorney’s.  There is certainly a cost advantage to using a divorce mediator.

I have clients that come to me who later need mediation.  I refer them out to a local Santa Clarita divorce mediation team who will help them through their issues and draft the marital settlement agreement.

Once the agreement is drafted, they come back to me to finish up the divorce documentation and we submit the final judgment.

What we recommend is that you start your divorce with us and allow us to get all the paperwork done for you.  This will save you a lot of money.  Then if you need to speak to a divorce mediator, you can go to them for help on an agreement.  Then we will wrap up your divorce for you.