Family Law Mediators

Finalize Your Divorce or Family Law Issues Without Entering a Courtroom
Photo of a mediation booklet with a family law booklet and gavel
Would you like to conclude your divorce or family law issue without ever needing to enter a courtroom? With the help of an experienced family mediator like Kimberly Lewellen, you and your former partner can work together to negotiate an agreement without the need to go before a California family court.

Our family mediators have successfully helped people just like you find common ground and negotiate solutions to many family law issues including divorce, child custody, child support, and child visitation. We have found clients who are able to utilize a neutral mediator to solve family law issues not only avoid the anxiety of going to court but also costly attorney and court fees.

Continue to read below to learn more about the mediation process and the benefits of using a mediator to arrive at a family dispute resolution. If you would like to know if you are a good candidate for family law mediation, contact our office today for a free initial consultation with our experienced mediators.

What is Family Law Mediation?

Family law mediation can be an effective alternative for navigating a resolution to family disputes. In mediation the parties voluntarily agree to mediate a settlement on all or part of the issues with the assistance of a neutral mediator.

The mediator cannot give advice to either party, nor act as a lawyer for either party. The mediator highlights issues for both parties to be aware of, the strengths and weaknesses in their positions, and proposes possible outcomes and solutions. In many cases, this process can be a more constructive, low-key option which focuses on the goal of helping the parties jointly resolve the case in a safe and private environment.

Because the mediation process is voluntary, it continues only so long as the parties and the mediator agree it is productive and should proceed. Any party can withdraw from the mediation process at any time, for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.

What Are the Advantages and Benefits of Mediation?

In family law there are two primary paths available for dispute resolution, traditional legal proceedings before a California family court which can be lengthy, more adversarial and emotionally draining, and alternative dispute resolution with a neutral mediator.

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution intended to be a more low-key and less adversarial option where a neutral mediator attempts to bring the parties to an agreement. Our experienced family and divorce mediators at the Lewellen | Strebe Family Law Firm help parties negotiate a settlement in a supportive, empathetic, and neutral environment.

Mediating couples can realize many advantages and benefits over the traditional family court system including:

  • More likely to be satisfied with the process and the results
  • Likely to spend less money to resolve the case
  • Generally, come to a resolution in a fraction of the time normally required
  • Retain control of outcome rather than leaving it to a judge’s discretion
  • Are less likely to return to court later to fight the outcome
  • Keep the process private and out of court records
  • Ability to work with scheduling needs rather than the courts schedule

Proven Mediation Process

Our family and divorce mediators believe with proper information and facilitation, people in conflict can take control of their own lives and settle their disputes with dignity. We allow each person the time to share their view and feelings regarding the situation at hand.

By applying our extensive legal knowledge and experience, our mediators enjoy helping people resolve their differences and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Our proven mediation process utilizes a full toolbox of techniques to resolve even the highest conflict issues.

While each client’s case can have unique issues and we craft our approach to each specific situation, we start each case with our proven process which includes:

Mediation Point 1

Step One: Free Initial Consultation

Parties contact our office for an initial free consultation. This consultation allows all parties to meet the mediator, ask questions, and understand the process and benefits of mediation.

Mediation Point 2

Step Two: Preparation and Planning

When both parties agree to participate in mediation, we begin the initial preparations required. This can include reviewing the required legal documents such as the Petition, Response, Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure, and Judgment papers in the case of a divorce.

Mediation Point 3

Step Three: Pre-mediation Private Sessions

Before the negotiating begins, the mediator will meet with each party privately to understand the unique issues and concerns they have. The mediator uses this information to create a tentative schedule and agenda.

Mediation Point 4

Step Four: Joint Meetings & Negotiations

All the parties are brought together to review each parties’ interests and positions in the case. The mediator will address each issue individually, allow the parties to express their stance, and work to bring them to a mutually satisfactory agreement or compromise.

Mediation Point 5

Step Five: Summary Memoranda or Term Sheet Creation and Review

The mediator works with the parties to jointly create a non-binding summary memoranda or term sheet which summarizes the agreement. Each party will have the opportunity to review the tentative agreement individually and by legal counsel if desired.

Mediation Point 6

Step Six: Final Settlement Agreement & Submission

When all parties agree to all the terms of the tentative agreement, we can prepare all required court papers, deeds, and other documents, or the parties can have other legal council prepare it. The documents are then submitted to the California family court for final judgement.

Additional Family Law Services We Provide

Mediation cases can vary due to many factors including divorce, child custody, property division, and high-wealth cases, just to name a few. Our family law attorneys and professionals provide our clients with an exceptional depth of experience handling cases involving a wide range of legal issues, including:

Frequently Asked Questions About Family & Divorce Mediation

Can you get a divorce with just a mediator?

Yes. When all parties agree to all the terms negotiated during the mediation session(s), a final settlement agreement can be drafted by the divorce mediator to be filed with the California Family Court for judgement without either party having to go before the court.

How long does it take to get a divorce with mediation?

California law requires no less than 6 months from the day the original petitioner officially informs their spouse of the divorce by serving them with divorce papers and filling the required documentation with the county clerk. However, when compared to traditional legal proceedings in family court, parties that utilize mediation to settle the differences for divorce issues can reduce the total time by up to 80%.

How do I prepare for divorce mediation?

We believe the best way to set up a successful mediation is for all parties to be properly prepared. During our initial free consultation, we will provide you with a list of documents and information you should gather prior to the pre-mediation individual sessions. This can include financial statements, lists of assets and debts, contested division of property, and other issues of possible disagreement or contention that may arise.

How much does divorce mediation cost?

The cost of divorce mediation can vary depending on many factors including the number of sessions needed to reach an agreement, number of issues that need to be resolved, and if additional issues need to be addressed such as child custody, support, and visitation.

One of the largest benefits of mediation over the traditional divorce process can be a significant cost savings. Using a mediator can allow parties to work together in negotiating a mutually satisfactory agreement or compromise without the need of costly legal teams.

Are there disadvantages to choosing mediation?

The only real disadvantage of mediation is when an agreement cannot be reached, the case will still have to go before a family court to resolve the issues. However, starting with mediation can still have the benefit of coming to an agreement for some of the issues and only require the court to decide highly contested issues.