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Woodland Hills Divorce Law Blog

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

You and your spouse have just finished filing for divorce in California. Now you face the long and uncertain road to rebuilding your future as an independent person. One of the most difficult parts of your divorce will most likely be separating everything that you came to share with your ex throughout the course of your marriage. Fortunately, there are resources that are designed to mitigate the negative effects of divorce and facilitate a beneficial and efficient outcome. 

One of your options is mediation. This tool is designed to provide you and your former spouse with a third-party opinion. Objectivity is crucial in being able to see things from an alternative point of view and to settle on negotiable terms without excessive bickering. According to Money Crashers, some of the benefits of choosing to work with a mediator include the following:

  • You can save money on the overall process of seeking a divorce. Unlike couples that choose to hash it out themselves and prolong the process, you and your spouse can be making timely decisions before you are paying excessive amounts of money for professional assistance when it is too late. 
  • You can prevent losing your mind and having to deal with persistent emotional exhaustion. Because mediation facilitates efficiency, you can save yourself some of the emotional turmoil you may otherwise be experiencing. 
  • You can save yourself time and stress by having help making your decisions quickly and without added drama. 
  • You may be able to maintain cordial and civil communication with your former spouse which is critical, especially when you have had children together. 

Tips on co-parenting successfully

While divorce can be difficult in general, co-parenting is often the most challenging aspect. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make the process far easier, for both you and your former spouse as well as your children. Parents.com offers the following tips in this case, which will help you navigate common parenting issues after divorce.

Be Flexible on Scheduling

Signs of domestic violence

While most people in Los Angeles believe they could readily recognize the signs of domestic violence, the issue is not always cut and dry. In fact, it may be more difficult for victims of domestic violence to recognize a dangerous situation due to the abuse they’ve sustained. WebMD offers the following indications that your relationship may be unhealthy, which will allow you to break the cycle of abuse and get the help you need to leave the situation.

Controlling Behavior

Protecting yourself from an ex who is stalking you

When you decided to split from your spouse, you may have expected the news to come as a shock. No matter your reasons for ending the marriage, your spouse may have pleaded with you to reconsider or threatened you to get you to change your mind. It is not unreasonable for someone to react this way, but eventually, most partners realize the marriage is over, and they find a way to move on.

You may not be so lucky. If your former spouse insists on inserting him or herself into your life, you may be dealing with a stalker. While a stalker may sometimes watch from a distance, more often a stalker's behavior escalates, causing fear and uncertainty. Nearly half of those who are victims of this type of abuse live in fear of what the stalker may do next, and many stalkers persist in their behavior for years.

Is mediation the answer in your domestic partnership breakup?

If your California domestic partnership appears to be ending, you and your partner may face unexpected difficulties when you attempt to dissolve it. You may discover that California’s divorce laws fail to address one or more of your specific issues.

As explained in the Arbitration Law Review, the reason your situation may not fit squarely into existing California law goes back to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. As you probably recall, that was the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage. It did not, however, address the issue of the updates states consequently needed to make to their divorce laws.

Terminating your domestic partnership

Maybe you and your partner waited a long time for the right to legally marry, and in the meantime, you decided to take advantage of a few benefits of marriage by signing a domestic partnership agreement. On the other hand, perhaps you never wanted to marry, but you did want to share the rights married partners share, such as having each other as beneficiaries of insurance policies, tax benefits and family leave.

Whatever your reason for entering into the legal contract of a domestic partnership, the relationship is now ending. Among the rights you share with married couples is the right to end your partnership. However, unlike divorcing couples, you may not have the same protections. If you and your partner have been together a long time, have considerable joint assets or have children together, you would be wise to work with a California attorney to ensure your rights remain protected throughout the dissolution process.

Who gets the house in a divorce?

Dividing assets in a California divorce can get complicated when you own a home together. You are both liable for the mortgage, and the bank will not care that your marriage is ending. It focuses solely on getting its money. Since the mortgage is in both of your names, you have to figure out a solution to satisfy the mortgage as part of the process of dividing your assets.

According to Time, there are a few different options you have to handle your home in a divorce. It really comes down to what makes the most financial sense. However, emotions can get in the way, making the process more difficult.

What documents should I bring to my custody hearing?

Your child’s custody hearing will be one of the most crucial components of your divorce. In this case, bringing the right documents can make or break the decision. Judges will consider a number of different factors, including visitations schedules, medical records, and other documents. VeryWellFamily.com recommends bringing the following items, which can attest to the type of care you provide on a regular basis.

Written Submission

Will I have to pay alimony forever?

If you have concerns about paying spousal support after your divorce, you are not alone. Alimony is one of the most contentious issues to settle, and many negotiations come to a grinding halt when the topic comes up. Understanding the purpose of spousal support may help you prepare for the discussion in your own divorce.

Family courts in California and other states have certain matters to weigh before determining if a spouse will pay alimony, how much and for how long. When a couple goes through mediation, they have more control over issues like alimony. However, you may wish to take these same factors into consideration even if you and your spouse are using alternative dispute resolution to end your marriage.

Finding the courage to address family violence

We have addressed many different legal issues related to domestic violence on our blog, from obtaining a restraining order to financial abuse and stalking. For some people, however, simply speaking up about domestic violence can be incredibly difficult and may even seem impossible. There are a number of reasons why victims of family violence and those who have witnessed their children suffer at the hands of an abuser decide to remain silent and in this post we will draw attention to this concerning facet of family violence and victims' rights.

Some people who are abused physically, financially, emotionally or sexually may be too afraid to do anything about the mistreatment. They may worry that trying to take action will lead to further abuse or that the mistreatment they have been subjected to will become even more severe as the abuser becomes angry. Aside from being afraid of an abuser, some people simply may not be aware of their rights or know that the way they have been treated is illegal.

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