Campbell Family Law Mediation
Consider Mediation for Your Campbell Divorce or Family Law Matter
Mediation is a way to settle and resolve issues in a divorce or other family law matter outside of court. Mediation is faster and less expensive than going to court, it involves less conflict, it keeps your matter private, and most importantly, it helps you create a solution that you know meets your needs and will work for you and your family.
Family law mediation is one of the main services we offer at Hepner & Pagan, LLP, and it is one of the chief ways we help our clients get a result they know will work for them and meet their needs. We truly believe nearly every case can be mediated and want to make sure prospective client’s are educated about the options they have to resolve their case. Learn more about mediation below, and call our Campbell family law mediators at Hepner & Pagan, LLP for a free consultation to discuss our services including mediation, legal coaching and full representation for your Campbell divorce or other Santa Clara County family law matter.
How Family Law Mediation Works
The mediation process begins with both parties agreeing to use mediation and jointly selecting a mediator to lead the mediation. Mediation can also be ordered by the court in a divorce or other family law matter.
The family law mediator is a professional who has received specialized training in helping couples communicate and come up with joint solutions to resolve their differences. The mediator is also skilled at resolving conflict and will set up ground rules to ensure a fair process that allows both parties to share their feelings and needs in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
There is no one way to conduct a mediation, and mediators will adjust their styles according to the dynamic of the parties involved. As a neutral third party, the mediator will typically give both sides an opportunity to speak, either to each other or the mediator. The mediator might facilitate communication between the parties or offer opinions about areas of settlement. If the parties cannot communicate effectively with one another, the mediator might shuttle back and forth between the parties in different rooms to help find areas of agreement. There are many options and the mediator works with the parties to find the right method for the individuals.
One thing the mediator does not do is render a decision or give legal advise to either party. The mediator is not acting as a judge and does not make rulings on factual or legal issues. Should the parties be unable to reach a resolution in mediation, they free to proceed to court if needed. If the mediation is successful, however, the mediator or the parties can draw up an agreement and submit it to the court. The judge can review and approve the agreement and turn it into an enforceable court order without having to hold a trial.
There are numerous advantages to mediation versus resolving a dispute in court. The chief benefits of mediation are:
Cost. Mediation is much less expensive than going to trial. The mediation itself is quicker than a trial, and the parties spend less time preparing for discovery, producing documents, hiring expert witnesses, etc.
Time. A mediation might take half a day or several sessions depending on the number and complexity of the issues and how well the parties are able to work together. Plus, a mediation can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties and the mediator, usually within only a few weeks of the initial mediation request. A trial, on the other hand, can take over a year to get on the judge’s docket and for the attorneys to have everything ready and span several days to over a week. This is too long to wait to conclude your divorce or family law matter if it can be avoided.
Creative solutions. Mediators encourage the parties to think outside the box and come up with solutions that meet their needs. In mediation, the focus is on each party’s interests – what they really need and not just what the law might entitle them to. In a trial, each party stakes out a position and holds to it. The judge rules for one party or the other but does not work to create a different solution that might work for both parties.
Mediation is “win/win.” Trials are adversarial by their nature, so they often end with a “winner” and a “loser.” The one who “lost” might appeal, dragging out the time, expense and hurt feelings of the divorce even longer. Parties are also more likely to be dissatisfied with court-imposed orders, requiring the parties to go back to court over and over for enforcement or modification of court orders. On the other hand, when the parties work together to create their own solution, they are more invested in it and want it to succeed, and it is more likely to meet their needs. Mediated solutions are more willingly implemented by both sides.
Privacy. A trial is a public proceeding that anyone can attend, and a judge’s published opinion can be read by anyone. Mediation is a private affair, and the parties can agree to keep it confidential. If you don’t want the public learning about the details of your divorce, mediation can help you keep it private.
Trials are risky. Even if you think you have a great case, there is no guaranteed outcome in a trial. Not only could you not get the result you wanted, but you could wind up worse off than before. Mediation helps you find a solution that works for you, and if it doesn’t work, you aren’t bound to anything.
Mediation Packages We Offer
Full-Service Mediation: Think Start to Finish Mediation
Requires a retainer to be set based on the needs of your case.
Includes the following:
- Assistance with drafting and filing of Petition/Response documents
- Assistance with reviewing and filing the necessary forms to complete your mandatory disclosures.
- Hourly sessions with the mediator at a frequency that works for you and your schedule.
- Support between sessions as needed via email. This can get costly, so the mediator does provide guidance on what is email appropriate.
- Drafting and processing of the necessary final judgment forms to finish your divorce.
With full-service mediation, the parties can attend on their own, with attorneys, and necessary experts can be brought into the sessions as needed.
You control the length and cost of your case, but the mediator works to keep the parties on track.
Mini Sessions: Limited issue mediation appointments
Schedule 2 hours (Flat rate) with one of our trained mediators on any of the following limited issues.
- Parenting Plan
- Essentially, you two agree on some things but there are some disputes that need tuning. Perfect for the couple with:
- No real property, or real property but you two already agree as to what will occur.
- Some Bank accounts division
- Maybe a retirement account or two.
- Modifying custody/visitation
- Modifying support
Includes a drafted Agreement on the issues that can be attached to applicable judgment or order paperwork to be completed within the 2-hour session.
The Simple Divorce: $3,500 flat rate (does not include court filing fees)
Perfect for the couple that have worked through most things. You are ready to make quick decisions and you just need help getting things written up and put into something enforceable.
Includes the following:
- Assistance with Drafting and filing of Petition/Response documents
- Assistance with Drafting and filing the necessary forms to complete your mandatory disclosures.
- Two hours with the mediator to fine tune agreements. Can add additional hours if necessary up to a total of 6 hours at the mediator’s hourly rate.
- Drafting and processing of the necessary final judgment forms.
Contact Our Experienced Campbell Family Law Mediators Today
The Campbell family law mediators at Hepner & Pagan, LLP are experienced in divorce mediation and can help you prepare for the mediation, attend the mediation with you, speak for you if you prefer, and confer with you in private throughout the mediation so you can be confident you are making the right decisions. We can also create or review a marital settlement agreement after a successful mediation that can be submitted to the court in an uncontested divorce and given the authority of an enforceable court order.
For help with mediation in Santa Clara County or to learn more about using mediation for your Campbell divorce or other family law matter, call Hepner & Pagan, LLP at 408-429-8336. We offer a free 20-minute consultation to explain the mediation process and the other services we offer, including legal coaching and full representation. No matter what services you choose, we’ll provide advice and representation with a commitment to your well-being and skilled professionalism to help you reach your goals.