Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff

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Be prepared to discuss these issues in divorce mediation

Many California couples who have decided to end their marriages are hoping to do so in the least expensive, least stressful, least time-consuming manner possible. In the past, others have achieved such goals by choosing divorce mediation over the litigation process. Successful mediation often means that spouses never even have to step foot inside a courtroom to finalize their divorce.

Those who enter mediation must agree to peacefully discuss any and all pertinent topics to resolve disagreements and to write out the terms of their settlement plan. They must also agree to avoid discussing certain issues such as rehashing old marital problems. A mediation setting is supposed to remain void of confrontation; it is not a place to spout blame or enter into arguments about who or what may have caused the divorce.

Appropriate topics of discussion during mediation meetings include child custody issues, visitation and child support. Such discussions may also delve more deeply into such matters to include issues, such as religious upbringing, medical health or dental insurance issues or even tax issues, such as which parent will be claiming children as dependents on federal tax forms. In addition to topics pertaining to children, spouses may also address property division issues during mediation.

It is always best to arrive to the agreed-upon mediation site in possession of all documents that may apply to the situation, such as stock portfolios and bank account information, mortgage loan documents, utility bills or credit card statements. Estate planning documents can also be useful during divorce mediation sessions. A California family law attorney can thoroughly explain the mediation process and can provide guidance and support to a spouse who wishes to settle a divorce in this manner.