Irvine Family Mediation Lawyers

Divorce, by its nature, involves disputes between spouses that touch on a wide range of sensitive issues, such as finances, child-rearing decisions, career aspirations, and more. The law encourages divorcing couples to work these issues out on their own to the best of their abilities under the assumption that a voluntary agreement will ultimately be more acceptable to all parties involved than a court-ordered one. However, divorce can be messy, and many couples find that they cannot reach an agreement on their own. When that is the case, mediation may be the answer; especially when you have the help of the experienced Irvine family mediation lawyers at Seastrom Tuttle & Murphy.  

How Does Mediation Help?

In mediation, the spouses (and sometimes their attorneys) hire a neutral third party — called a mediator — to meet with them and help them resolve outstanding issues. Mediators are trained professionals who attempt to resolve conflicts by supervising the exchange of information, defining problems, framing issues, interpreting concerns, and proposing creative solutions, among other techniques.

Mediators are bound by the following ethical rules

  • Self-determination: Mediators act based on the principle of self-determination — voluntary, uncoerced decisions in which each party makes free and informed choices.
  • Impartiality: A mediator must not show partiality to any party 
  • Conflicts of interests: Mediators must avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest
  • Competence: A mediator must have the training, experience in mediation, skills, and cultural understandings necessary for mediation 
  • Confidentiality: The mediator must maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained

At the conclusion of a successful mediation, the mediator will draft an agreement that will be incorporated into the divorce judgment.  It’s important to remember that your Irvine family mediation lawyers can attend the mediation with you and won’t let you agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with. 

When Is Mediation a Good Idea in California? 

Mediation is not ideal for all couples. It is most beneficial for couples who are ready and willing to settle their disagreements and who are forthcoming about their finances and other personal matters — such as couples undergoing an uncontested divorce. It is not recommended for couples with a heated divorce or history of domestic violence, as it can be difficult for a mediator to determine whether one spouse’s acceptance of a settlement is voluntary or the product of fear or intimidation. 

Mediation can be particularly beneficial in the following scenarios: 

High-Net-Worth Divorces

Property division for high-net-worth couples can be complex, making it difficult for the parties to resolve on their own. As such, high-net-worth couples may want to consider mediation due to the value of the assets at stake and the complexity of the financial situations involved. 

Child Custody Issues 

Mediation is almost always beneficial when child custody is an issue in the divorce, as many parents’ own wishes can cloud their ability to see what is truly in the best interests of their children. Child custody mediation is mandatory in California where it appears on the face of the divorce petition that child custody is contested. 

Contact the Irvine Family Mediation Lawyers at Seastrom, Tuttle & Murphy

For more information about whether you and your spouse are good candidates for mediation, please contact the Irvine family mediation lawyers at Seastrom, Tuttle & Murphy by using our online form or calling us at 949-356-9151.