The Mediation Process
In the mediation process, you will have total control over all decisions and issues to be included in your Settlement Agreement. Those issues and decisions will be tailored to your needs and the needs of your business and/or family. All the decisions made by both you and your partner will be included in your Settlement Agreement.
Civil, Family & Divorce Mediator Estee Shiraz of Shiraz Mediation Group, will help you discuss the different issues relating to your dispute, raise questions to help you clarify certain points, answer your questions, and help you generate options and solutions to assist you in working out the different aspects that need to be included in your agreement.
It takes one to four sessions to complete, while each session lasts around three hours. This depends on the number and complexity of issues that need to be addressed. Sessions can be scheduled in any way that is most convenient for both parties, and depend on how quickly you want to complete the process.
Issues discussed in divorce mediation sessions are typically: where each party is going to live, division of assets (Equitable Distribution of Marital Property), i.e., real estate, checking and/or savings accounts, household items, retirement accounts, spousal support (Alimony), child support, legal custody (who makes the decision about the kids), physical custody (where will the children live, debts, life insurance, health plans, etc.
If you are a couple living in the Beverly Hills/Los Angeles area and thinking of living apart before your divorce is finalized, mediator Estee Shiraz of Shiraz Mediation Group can help you in formulating an interim agreement which will describe how expenses will be met during that period. This agreement will also include a schedule outlining when each parent will spend time with their children. These decisions may be incorporated into the final agreement, once the couple is ready for a divorce.
Some people may choose to be represented by legal counsel or financial professional during the mediation process. This is perfectly acceptable, as your attorneys can review the final agreement before it is signed and give you his/her recommendations, so you can be sure that you are doing the right thing and have the peace of mind of being escorted by a professional of your trust. You are welcome to bring your lawyer to any or all mediation sessions if you wish to do so, or you can use your lawyer as an advisor between sessions. However, do not let your lawyer make you feel that you must pay him/her to be with you during mediation, as this is completely up to you. Being represented by counsel is not a requirement for mediation, and you can attend the mediation sessions by yourself, if you choose to do so.
The mediation process is confidential and the mediator will always be impartial and neutral, taking both parties’ interests into consideration. No decision will be forced upon you, and you will be given the guidance needed for you to make your own informed decisions and come up with an agreement that works best for all of you. Once the mediation process is completed, and only when you are fully satisfied with all the decisions you have made, an agreement can be drafted for you.