Solana Beach Mediation Lawyer

Sometimes complex family law matters can be resolved through means other than litigation. At Ratzer|Dobis, our Solana Beach mediation attorneys have extensive experience using mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to obtain the results you desire. Ratzer|Dobis is committed to providing tailored legal representation. Our backgrounds as litigation lawyers make us uniquely qualified to resolve mediation and ADR cases. If you have a family law dispute you want resolved using mediation tactics, we will work to obtain the outcome you want.

How Can a Mediation Attorney Help My Case?

Working with a lawyer could improve the odds of divorce mediation succeeding. A mediation lawyer in Solana Beach can help you understand the facts of your divorce case without any emotions getting in the way. Your lawyer will have a clear view of your divorce case and its main issues. A lawyer can help you understand what is at stake, what you need to do to achieve a fair resolution and how to focus on the most critical issues of your divorce during mediation. Without a mediation attorney, you run the risk of making major mistakes during mediation that ultimately get in the way of you and your ex-spouse reaching a settlement. This could force your case to go to trial – a process that can cost a great deal more money and time than mediation. You may find it difficult to negotiate past your strong emotions, for example, or feel pressured to settle by your ex-spouse and his or her attorney. Your lawyer can protect your rights and best interests during mediation in Solana Beach. Using a lawyer during mediation could give you creative solutions that you and your ex may not have been able to come up with alone. A lawyer will have years of experience helping all types of couples achieve compromises during mediations. Your lawyer can use this experience, as well as an unbiased perspective, to facilitate open conversations between you and your ex. Your lawyer could help you avoid arguments or conflicts of interest, maintain an open mind, protect your confidentiality, and come up with innovative solutions that work for both you and your spouse. A mediation attorney can increase the chances of successful mediation to decrease the odds of going to trial.

Alternatives to Litigation

During mediation, an attorney acts as the neutral party between two opposing sides. Effective mediation attorneys are able to pinpoint when and why communication between the two parties breaks down and can help resolve the contributing issues so that both parties can come to mutually agreed upon terms. Mediation offers a variety of benefits over litigation such as:

  • Less costs
  • More control over the process
  • Less time-consuming

At Ratzer|Dobis, our Solana Beach mediation attorneys work to help you resolve your case as quickly, amicably and inexpensively as possible, while also keeping a firm grasp on obtaining the goals you desire. It has been our experience that if both parties are able to set aside acrimonious feeling toward one another and work on compromising to reach a shared goal, a resolution can be reached with mediation. Our goal is to use our substantial experience to achieve an outcome with which you will be comfortable.

Can the Use of a Mediator Save Money?

Yes, a mediator could save you money during a divorce case in California. Using a divorce mediator could help you avoid the significant costs of going to trial. In California, a divorce trial costs an average of $15,000 to $25,000 or more depending on the circumstances. A divorce court trial requires extensive preparation, investigation, discovery, the hiring of experts and time-consuming court appearances. All of these steps can cost you money as an involved party. Successful mediation, on the other hand, allows a couple to avoid these costly procedures and create a divorce settlement by themselves, without a judge’s intervention. Resolving a divorce case that has to go to trial in California could take months or years. The longer the legal process, the more expensive it will be for the parties involved. Many divorce lawyers charge clients based on how much time and effort a case will take to resolve. With mediation, you can minimize both. Hiring a mediator can allow you to get a divorce quickly and efficiently by encouraging open communication between you and your ex-spouse. Your lawyer can conduct civil mediation faster than a court trial. This can lessen expenses such as attorney’s fees, court costs, filing fees and miscellanies costs, such as hiring expert witnesses. The fees of hiring a mediator are comparable to hiring a divorce attorney. The exact amount will depend on the mediator and the amount of time it takes to resolve your case. In most divorces in California, both parties split the costs of hiring a mediator. If you wish to hire a lawyer separately to represent you during mediation, you will take on these costs individually. You and your ex-spouse, however, will divide the costs of the mediator in charge of your meeting. The courthouse’s website should have more in-depth information on the fees of mediation in your county, including the cost of hiring a mediator. If mediation succeeds, it will almost always save you money compared to the costs of going to court.

Mediation Can Help Maintain Your Privacy

By handling the divorce through a mediator, you will also keep the situation more private. In a divorce through litigation, the entire process is open for the public to witness. Public divorces are not just something that happens to celebrities. They also happen to everyday people who want to keep their affairs out of sight, possibly from other family members and friends. We understand that you value privacy during a situation like this, which is why we value the option of mediation over litigation if the situation allows for that alternative.

Divorce Dispute Solutions That Can Work for You

Depending on your situation, we may recommend undergoing mediation or other ADR processes to address a wide range of divorce issues. These methods may be ideal if you want to avoid the animosity that can sometimes arise during litigation procedures, especially when addressing the following issues:

  • If there will be a spouse of lesser means in the aftermath of a separation, it will need to be decided whether there will be temporary or permanent alimony payments.
  • This can include issues over either physical or legal custody. It will need to be decided whether parents will share custody or whether one parent will have sole custody.
  • Child support issues are regulated by the state, but mediation can help ensure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to reported income, necessary childcare expenses, etc.
  • All property in California needs to be divided equitably between the divorcing spouses. This can become a complicated process, particularly for longer marriages. For shorter marriages, this may be easier handled in mediation.

When Is Mediation Not Suggested?

Mediation is particularly helpful when most of the issues in a divorce process are uncontested. That does not mean every little detail needs to be agreed upon before a mediator is brought in. A mediator will be able to help resolve most minor disagreements. However, there are cases in which it may not be beneficial to have a mediator:

  • If there are significant property and asset disputes.
  • When there are major disagreements over child custody, visitation, and spousal support.
  • If the circumstances surrounding the divorce create an emotionally charged situation (i.e. allegations of adultery, physical or emotional abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, etc.).
  • If there are significant assets and property between the two spouses.

When you speak to our attorneys about alternative dispute resolution methods, we will be able to guide you in the direction that is best for your case. If we think mediation is a good alternative, we will tell you so. However, we will also be sure to let you know when we think mediation is not appropriate.

What Is the Role of the Mediator?

In California, a mediator is going to be a neutral third party decided on by both parties involved. They are not there to represent one spouse against the other. Rather, they are there to help both spouses find common ground and ensure that both parties are treated fairly. A mediator does not necessarily have to be an attorney, though, at Ratzer|Dobis, our attorneys do act as mediators. Having an attorney act as a mediator has advantages. A family law attorney understands the ins and outs of every aspect of a divorce case. When the mediation moves towards a final divorce agreement, the attorney handling the mediation will already be familiar with the case and will be able to help complete the final agreement and ensure it is moved into the court system to be finalized.

Contact Our Solana Beach Mediation Attorneys

At Ratzer|Dobis, our goal is to provide you with expert legal advice and the personalized legal services your situation requires, whether that is through litigation or mediation services. To arrange a consultation with one of our Solana Beach mediation lawyers, contact us via our free online form or call us today at (858) 793-7700.  Our mediation center will evaluate the factors surrounding your case and advise how we can help you resolve your family law issue.


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