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Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco Mediation Attorney

San Francisco Mediation Attorney

For many people, the terms “divorce” or “legal separation” conjure images of bitter, angry couples fighting each other in court for years over every little thing, from who will get the dining room furniture to which parent will spend next Christmas with the kids. In reality, however, most divorces in California are resolved without the need for contested litigation. Instead, many couples are able to resolve most–if not all–of their outstanding issues through mediation.

A dedicated San Francisco mediation attorney can explain the benefits and potential drawbacks of alternative dispute resolution and help you decide whether it makes sense for your situation. Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP is a team of committed California family law attorneys who assist clients throughout the Bay Area who are looking to end their marriages with a minimum of acrimony and courtroom drama. While mediation is not the best option in every case, we can assist you in trying to make it a success.

How Divorce Mediation Works in California

Mediation should not be confused with marriage counseling. A marriage counselor is someone who tries to get you to reconcile with your spouse. A mediator is someone who tries to facilitate a divorce or separation agreement with your spouse. In other words, mediation is a process designed to help you end your marriage in an amicable fashion.

California law actually requires parties to attempt divorce mediation if they have minor children and need to resolve issues regarding child custody and visitation. Mediation is not required for other issues, such as how to split any community property. But the parties are free to enter into mediation at any time during the divorce process, even if they are already involved in litigation.

The mediator’s role is to serve as an impartial facilitator for discussion between you and your spouse. A mediator is not an arbitrator. That is to say, the mediator will not take sides or decide anything for you. If you and your spouse are unable to resolve any issues through the mediation process, you may still have to submit those matters to a judge. And if you are able to reach a settlement through mediation, any final agreement is still subject to court approval.

It is important to note that mediation is not appropriate in every situation. For example, if there is a history of domestic violence, abuse, or hiding assets from one another, mediation is usually not advised. Keep in mind, mediation requires a certain degree of trust between the parties. So if the marriage has broken down to the point where the spouses are simply unable to communicate at all with one another, mediation is unlikely to achieve any viable results.

Contact a San Francisco Mediation Attorney at Cardwell Steigerwald Young Today

Mediation is not an all-or-nothing affair. In many cases, mediation helps bring the parties closer to the proverbial “finish line” even if they still need to litigate some remaining issues. So if you think alternative dispute resolution might be beneficial in ending your relationship, and you wish to speak with a skilled San Francisco mediation attorney, call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

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