You may be surprised to know that spouses or registered domestic partners are not required to retain individual representation to get divorced or dissolve their partnership in California. Though we do not suggest it, parties may divorce or dissolve their partnership without ever speaking to an attorney. However, you do not need to choose between full representation or no representation – there are other options available.
Mediation offers the perfect middle ground for couples wanting to understand and discuss their rights and responsibilities under California community property laws with a lawyer, but do not want to spend money on individual attorneys. Benefits of mediation include the following:
- Transparent communications between the parties and the attorney they choose;
- Diminish feelings of acrimony that may arise when one party is pitted “against” the other;
- Streamline discovery processes;
- Encourage negotiations and party agreements;
- Help keep the case out of court and avoid the need for litigation;
- Limit attorney involvement, thereby saving both parties money on attorney’s fees;
- Increase parties’ satisfaction with terms of dissolution.
Couples best suited for mediation services are couples who are able to communicate with one another, and who have a shared goal of achieving their dissolution in a cordial and relatively swift manner. If necessary, parties can also retain joint experts to help with property valuations, tracing issues, or custody disagreements. Keeping your case out of court can save you and your partner tens of thousands of dollars and can save you the stress of needing to appear in a public courtroom.
If you feel that mediation could be right for you and your partner, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions.
Walnut Creek Office
1990 N. California Blvd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94596