"Families do not belong in the court of law. Mediation allows parties to have the direction and information from a knowledgeable attorney without having to slug it out in court."
Fresno, CA (PRWEB) November 08, 2012
Erin M. Childs, Certified Family Law Specialist*, is now offering mediation services to those couples interested in keeping costs of family law legal matters low, while receiving legal advice of an attorney. Issues such as divorce, property division, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, guardianships, adoptions, and complex property issues can all be addressed through a mediation process that is less litigious, quicker, and less expensive than the regular litigation process.
How long does the process take?
Sessions are generally two hours long, however they can extend up to three hours if the parties are close to resolution and want to finish the case or resolve a certain issue before ending the session. The number of sessions generally ranges from three to six sessions. The parties are in control of how long the process will take and the number of sessions.
What is the cost?
Childs Law Office charges a Fixed Fee for divorce mediation of $3,000 per party, for a total fee of $6,000. This fee includes up to eight hours of sessions with Ms. Childs, all preparation time between sessions, preparation of general Court documents, a first draft and one revised draft of your Agreement, a signing session and processing of your documents with the Court. If the couple requires more than eight hours of mediation, additional hours are charged at $275.00 per hour.
All other services, including Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Post-Nuptial or Living together Agreements, parenting plans, support issues, etc. are charged $275.00 per hour with a two (2) hour minimum for each session. Fees are payable prior to commencement of the session.
How do I get my spouse to understand and agree to the program?
Childs Law Office will send a fax or letter to the other spouse explaining the procedure and that we have been contacted for divorce mediation. We invite them to contact our office and will be happy to explain the process in detail, including the cost savings, privacy of the process, speed of the process, no Court, etc. Both parties are referred to our website at http://www.childslawoffice.com for more information.
Mediation meetings can take place with both parties in the same room or in separate rooms. Parties are not represented by Ms. Childs, they are both representing themselves and Ms. Childs may not represent either party in Court if the mediation process breaks down.
What if I have a very unreasonable spouse? Can mediation work?
An unreasonable party is the very reason why the Childs Law Office mediation program is appropriate. If the two sides were already close, then they would probably be able to settle the case at the first session. It is precisely because they are so polarized that they need the intervention of an unbiased third party in a series of negotiations.
In most of the cases, the first meeting starts with the two sides at opposite ends of the spectrum. Opinions about settlement seem to be diametrically opposed. The key is to keep talking because the longer that the parties talk the closer they will usually obtain a solution.
The secret of success is knowing that parties are never too far apart to explore settlement. Many disagreements are grounded in emotion rather than reason. It takes time for the emotions to subside. Once these obstacles are overcome, resolution can usually follow. This hopefully results in a less expensive, quicker, more amicable divorce.
Erin M. Childs, Certified Family Law Specialist*, practices law in Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Kern Counties offering services in collaborative law, divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, guardianships, juvenile dependency law, domestic violence restraining orders. More information can be found at http://www.childslawoffice.com and if you are interested in speaking with one of our staff please contact us at 559-225-6769 or send an email to erin(at)childslawoffice(dot)com.
*State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization