Using Mediation To Reduce The Conflict Of Your Divorce

Decisions made during the divorce process have a profound impact long after the decree is final. This is especially true when children are involved. Anything that can be done to avoid bitter litigation and post-divorce disputes will make the process easier on everyone. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are designed to save time, reduce the costs and alleviate stress, while preserving legal rights.

Certified family law specialists, Ilene Evans Trabolsi and Avi Levy, serve as volunteer mediators for the family law courts of the Los Angeles Superior Court. With their leadership, our firm guides clients through the divorce mediation process and helps represent the client's best interests and those of his or her children.

We can explore all of your options to resolve divorce or custody matters without resorting to litigation, including:

Mediation — Divorce mediation is a process whereby a neutral third person trained in dispute resolution techniques guides couples in divorce through a process of listening, identifying issues, exploring options and coming to a mutually agreeable solution for both parties. The parties are encouraged to consider "out of the box" solutions that a court might not be able to order, to achieve the important goals desired by each party. Divorce mediation is also helpful in reaching closure, where both parties can articulate their goals, even if they do not desire to remain friends after the dissolution is concluded.

Collaborative law — Collaborative divorce is a hybrid of mediation and negotiation. Both parties have attorneys representing their interests, but both parties and their attorneys sign an agreement not to litigate. If talks break down, your collaborative lawyer cannot represent you in courtroom litigation. Collaborative divorce law commonly involves psychologists, financial experts and other professionals to help cover all the bases and forge an agreement.

Arbitration — Another option is hiring a private arbitrator, such as a retired family court judge, to settle disputes. The process is quicker and less costly than going to court, but the decision is binding. Arbitration is not as formal as going to court, and it is not open to the public. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has many advantages over litigation:

  • Fewer hostilities and grudges that spill over into future disputes
  • Greater privacy because most details are not part of the public court record
  • More control over solutions, rather than leaving decisions up to a judge
  • Considerably lower cost
  • Less adverse impact on children
  • Faster resolutions than going to court

Due to the budget crisis in California, it is taking longer to appear before a family law judge to finalize a divorce settlement. For this reason, more and more people are choosing to finalize their divorces through mediation and ADR.

To talk to our lawyers to determine if mediation or other alternative dispute resolution techniques may be right for your situation, please call our Los Angeles office at 310-453-6226 or send us an email using our contact form.