Reaching an agreement during divorce can seem almost impossible when you’re just starting the process of ending your marriage. After all, many of the issues that led to your divorce may make it difficult to communicate. While it may seem challenging, you’ll find working through your conflicts with the help of a neutral party makes it possible to resolve many of your issues. While you may not have to compromise during divorce mediation, the team from Divorce Options San Diego—professionals who are revolutionizing the divorce process with expert divorce mediation San Diego couples trust to help them create amicable, customized divorce solutions—explain how going through this process can help you make the right decisions for your divorce.
When Divorce Mediation Is Required
In California, divorce mediation is required for some couples. You’re most likely to need to try mediation first if you have young children and need to work out a custody and child support agreement. While no one likes being told what to do, the state of California has made this a requirement for several reasons. Not only does this reduce traffic within the judicial system, but it also helps you start your divorce off on the right foot.
Why It’s Better to Resolve Things through Mediation
The decisions you must make during your divorce are very personal. No judge knows exactly what happens in your home or how you feel about things such as whether you get to keep your pets. When you think about it, you’re ultimately the one who should be in control of the next phase of your life. A divorce mediator serves as a neutral person who empowers you and your spouse to make decisions that work best for everyone. Being able to customize your divorce allows you to do things such as work around your kids’ sports schedules for visitation rather than follow a cookie-cutter model the judge puts in place.
What Happens if You Can’t Reach an Agreement
There are times when people just can’t get along. If you absolutely cannot reach an agreement, the court system will accept your case. However, this tends to delay divorces, since you’ll need to wait for a court date to open up. You may also be unhappy with what the court decides. It’s usually better to do what you can to compromise during mediation.
How to Reach an Amicable Agreement
Each person in the mediation process plays a role in how you reach an agreement. Your mediator is trained and has the experience to guide you and your spouse through the process of staying respectful of each other’s needs. If you reach an impasse, consider taking a break from the negotiations for a short period. Things often get worked out after everyone has a chance to cool off, and you’ll be glad you took the extra time to work things out with the help of your mediator.
All the financial, legal, psychological, and practical aspects of honorable, respectful divorce agreements can be managed by Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced, trustworthy divorce mediators. San Diego couples can rely on our specialized comprehensive process, which is so thorough they won’t need to hire attorneys. To learn how we can help you with every aspect of your divorce, call us today at (858) 281-2628.
As Thanksgiving approaches, divorced parents may be feeling the pressure to make it work. Who will the children spend Thanksgiving with? Will new partners be invited to the celebrations? Will you be risking disaster if you attempt a family Thanksgiving?
Rather than letting these decisions keep you up at night, there’s no shame in getting help. Whether you’re recently divorced, currently going through a divorce, or struggling with a difficult co-parenting arrangement, mediation is a neutral space in which you can negotiate a conflict-free holiday with your kids.
Divorce Options San Diego is a full-service mediation firm that can help you work through your divorce on a number of levels, from practical to legal to emotional. As San Diego divorce mediation experts with psychoanalytical expertise, we can assess such factors as your children’s developmental levels. We can also offer assistance with the practical matters of your divorce, such as event planning and managing your post-divorce life (including career and life coaching, if desired).
If you’re facing any of the following issues, mediation can help you determine what’s right for you and your kids.
How Do I Handle My In-Laws?
In-laws can say insensitive things at the Thanksgiving dinner table that can hurt kids and cause conflict. Mediation can help you establish coping mechanisms and boundaries so your kids don’t have to be subject to confusing influences from your in-laws.
What About Travel Arrangements?
If your children are traveling abroad with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to prepare travel documents and custody papers. In mediation, you can discuss these matters and get your children prepared to travel.
Which Traditions Should We Stick To?
Insensitivity to religious or cultural traditions can lead to kids having a divided experience and feeling caught between their parents. Mediation can work with parents’ emotional and cultural affiliations to find common ground.
Is It Appropriate to Invite New Partners to Celebrations?
Whether you or your ex is the one with the new partner, this decision is one to be approached very carefully. It’s something that can be discussed with your partner in light of family politics, your children’s developmental levels, and your partner’s sensitivities. The solution doesn’t have to be black and white, and any number of options, such as modifying sleeping arrangements and introducing your new partner to your kids in a gradual way, can be explored to suit your comfort level.
How Do We Pay for the Celebrations?
It’s quite common for divorced parents to have unequal incomes. If children have to travel for Thanksgiving or fun activities are planned, parents may have to decide how to pay for the events. Discussing these things rather than sweeping them under the rug shows respect for your co-parent and helps you decide on the appropriate monetary contribution from each parent.
Divorced parents don’t have to make Thanksgiving perfect for their children. Kids can sense when their parents are making an honest effort. Modeling good behavior by working through adversity and identifying your emotional biases is better for your kids. Working with mediators with psychoanalytical expertise can ground your discussions and help you proceed with care.
Our Services and How We Can Help
At Divorce Options San Diego, we are highly qualified professional San Diego divorce mediators and certified financial planners with psychoanalytical expertise. Our mediators are caring, educated professionals who build divorce around conflict resolution, closure, and practical solutions for your future life.
At Divorce Options San Diego, we reframe divorce as an opportunity to generate creative, optimized solutions for your future and your kids’ future. We never litigate. We don’t do adversarial work, and we never represent one spouse against another. We are a one-stop shop providing a bundle of essential divorce services, from paperwork, court documents, and financial analysis to divorce transition coaching, life coaching, and interior design. We cater to those with busy lives who want the best for themselves and their children.
San Diego Divorce Options puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. We use developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving, and family systems psychology to help you and your children through the difficult emotional transition. We help divorcing parents draft multiphase parenting plans that consider their children’s developmental needs. We help co-parents build parenting plans that will withstand the challenges of parenting, even if long-distance or international locations are involved, and we can assist you with the tools to stay connected to your children even if you aren’t the primary caregiver. At Divorce Options San Diego, we emphasize an efficient, caring process that leaves out no detail relevant to your emotional, financial, and legal situations, which leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. We have offices in Solana Beach, CA, but we can work with you remotely at your convenience via telephone, video conferencing apps, and other forms of electronic communication. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help.
Although more than 876,000 people get divorced each year in the United States, experts estimate only 10 percent of these couples tried counseling or marital mediation before finalizing their divorces. Getting a divorce is a major life-altering decision. Both marriage counseling and marital mediation can help couples as they make decisions. The San Diego divorce mediation experts from Divorce Options San Diego advise that before getting divorced, couples should first consider these benefits of trying counseling or mediation first.
1. Gain Clarity
Just because you try counseling or marital mediation, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t end up getting a divorce. Studies show once a couple is determined to get divorced, counseling or mediation probably won’t help them stay together. Each of these services can provide insight into the marriage and give both individuals clarity so they can make the next step with confidence. Counseling or mediation may assure couples that divorce is the right decision for their families. Those who try mediation or counseling and decide to stay together will gain insight into their marital problems and what each spouse can do to address them.
While marriage counselors help clients understand and change their behaviors and work on improving the health of their relationships, marital mediators work with couples to help them resolve specific disagreements. Marital mediation emphasizes analyzing couples’ communication styles and training them to develop more productive ways to negotiate and resolve conflicts.
2. Help Your Children Cope Better with Divorce
Two of the most important things a divorcing couple can do for their children is to learn how to speak respectfully about each other and communicate well with each other. Both counseling and marital mediation can help you learn communication tactics and role model techniques you can use as you co-parent after divorce. With these tools, divorced couples are much better able to work together. Children with divorced parents who co-parent peacefully fare far better than those who don’t.
3. Save Money
Learning how to work together and communicate may save you money. Couples who use techniques they learn in counseling or mediation may be able to amicably divide assets and work out childcare arrangements, which means fewer hours spent trying to work out all the details in a heated debate.
4. Learn Conflict Management Skills
Whether you decide to stay married or continue with the divorce, conflicts are going to arise. Learning conflict management skills can benefit you and your spouse throughout the rest of your lives. These skills are crucial when going through a divorce, co-parenting children, and being in relationships after the divorce.
Marital mediation also helps couples develop conflict management skills, but it focuses on dispute resolution. When couples have unproductive ways of settling conflicts, their marriages often suffer, which could lead to divorce. Marital mediation uses techniques that identify and resolve these negative conflict behaviors.
5. Save Your Marriage
While not all marriages can—or should—be saved, counseling or mediation may prevent a divorce. Data from a study conducted by the Chicago Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy shows 50 percent of the couples reported improvements in their marriages after participating in counseling. After three months, 70 percent of the couples reported improvements. These improvements seemed to stay in place long after counseling was over. After two years, all couples who noticed improvements in their marriages reported the marriages continued to improve.
Whether you and your spouse need marital mediation services or you decide divorce is the right choice, reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. Our expert San Diego divorce mediators provide a one-stop shop, offering marital mediation as well as comprehensive services that cover all aspects of divorce from beginning to end, and we focus on helping couples form mutually satisfactory agreements based on trust and respect. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.
Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
Establishing a prenuptial agreement (prenup) is something many couples do to protect their finances, property, and other significant assets in the event they divorce or legally separate in the future. The agreement may be legally binding and may be enforced by the family court. The experts from Divorce Options San Diego—the experts in divorce mediation San Diego couples trust for a comprehensive, resolution-based alternative to expensive, time-consuming divorce litigation—explain prenuptial agreements and why they’re a good idea for many couples.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenup is a private contract created and signed by couples before they get married. The details typically include the division of assets in the event of a divorce or death. The laws are different in every state. For San Diego marriages, California law will determine the way the prenuptial agreement is enforced and what’s acceptable to list in the private contract. Couples should research the requirements of their states to determine what’s most beneficial with regard to the terms of their prenups prior to getting married. There are rigorous and complex procedures parties must follow in order for a court to enforce a prenuptial agreement.
Failing to disclose financial assets and property when creating a prenuptial agreement is prohibited in the state of California. These assets include any future inheritance either party is aware of and may receive from a relative, friend, mentor, or business associate. Both parties must fully disclose their assets before the document is signed to ensure it remains valid at the time of a divorce or death.
What Cannot Be Included?
The state of California prohibits the inclusion of anything that’s illegal and goes against public policy. For example, if you decide to divorce and there are small children involved, a family court will ensure your children’s rights and interests are protected at all times, and those rights cannot be contracted in a prenuptial agreement. Public policy also prevents couples from negotiating relationship duties of the marriage, such as fidelity and mutual respect.
What Can Make the Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
In the state of California, no one must be coerced into signing the private contract. If your spouse intimidated you and forced you to sign the prenup under duress, it may not be legally binding at the time of divorce. Before signing prenups, couples have the right to seek independent legal counsel to discuss the terms and laws, and they usually must do so in order for a prenup to be enforced by a court. Your partner must give you at least seven days to speak with a lawyer or legal representative before you sign the private contract. The prenup could also be ruled invalid if the agreement was based on deceit and not endorsed by an authorized notary.
Changes to the Agreement
The private contract can be rewritten after the wedding, as long as both parties are in agreement about the changes. When negotiating a new document, seek professional legal advice to ensure your rights are protected. Couples who married without prenups could be eligible for postnuptial agreements to avoid complicated matters in the future.
If you’re getting divorced, whether you have a prenuptial agreement or not, mediation can be the right choice for you. Mediation is a divorce solution focused on meeting the needs of everyone in the family. Couples looking for an alternative to the expense and animosity of traditional attorney-centered divorce should reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re divorce mediators San Diego couples rely on to help them dissolve their marriages in a way that’s based on respect and mutual satisfaction. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
When you and your spouse agree to end your marriage without complications, an uncontested divorce may be an option. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—the experts in San Diego divorce mediation who offer a compassion-based alternative to expensive, time-consuming divorce litigation—explain uncontested divorces and whether you need to attend court hearings when going through the process.
How Is Mediation Preferable to a Contested Divorce?
Hiring a divorce mediator instead of attorneys is an ideal way to avoid having to appear in family court. A mediator can help you and your spouse work out disagreements and prevent the process from being drawn out and acrimonious. Both parties can work out the division of property, child custody, spousal support, and other divorce basics during mediation. You don’t need to hire divorce attorneys when using this method, but you have the option to work with lawyers if that’s your preference. The only time you’d need to attend family court is if no agreement is reached and a judge steps in to order a hearing.
Who Is Eligible?
If spouses have no disagreements about the division of assets, child custody, and other basic divorce issues, they’re generally eligible for an uncontested divorce in California. Keep in mind that even if parties have disagreements, they’re eligible for mediation. Both parties need to sign documents agreeing to divide the assets and debts. If you have minor children but you and your spouse can reach an agreement on major issues such as school, child support, and who will be the custodial parent, you should be able to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
Is Court Mandatory?
If a divorce is contested, both parties have to go to court, unless they work it out with mediation. In this case, both spouses need to attend a hearing and bring along important documentation, such as the marriage license and birth certificates (if child custody is being discussed). If the divorce is uncontested, the parties can file their case without going to court. Even if the case is contested, they don’t have to go to court if they have a good mediator. To ensure your rights are protected, all your agreements need to be signed and filed accordingly. If there are no delays, the judgment can be delivered to you by mail.
Is There a Mandatory Waiting Period?
After petitions for divorce are filed, all couples must abide by California’s six-month waiting period, which was established to give people time to determine if divorce is the best option for their current situation. The six-month period starts from the date a Response is filed or Acknowledgment is received by the court, whichever comes first. In some cases, couples reconcile and stop the proceedings. After the six-month waiting period, an uncontested divorce typically takes a few more months for the court to review all the documents, unlike complicated proceedings that could last up to two years or longer. Sometimes the court decides within a few months. You don’t need to attend hearings during the mandatory waiting period.
Couples looking for an alternative to the enormously expensive adversarial manner in which divorces are usually handled should reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re San Diego divorce mediators you can trust to help you dissolve your marriage in a way that’s based on respect and mutual satisfaction. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
Even though most married couples plan on spending the rest of their lives together, separations are very common. There may come a point in your own marriage where splitting up becomes a real possibility, and you should spend some time researching all your options before you make any important decisions. Many people are surprised to hear there are three different types of separation, and each one of those options has its own pros and cons. It’s important to keep in mind that even informal separations have legal consequences in California. For example, community property doesn’t accumulate. Here’s a brief description of each type of separation, brought to you by the experienced professionals from Divorce Options San Diego, divorce mediators San Diego couples trust to develop creative solutions that leave both parties satisfied and ready to move on with their lives.
1. Trial Separation
As the name implies, a trial separation takes place for a finite period of time. Most couples who choose trial separation do so because they need to spend some time apart but would like to reconcile at some point in the future. During this type of separation, the couple is still legally married, and all of the same laws apply.
Before a trial separation, it’s always a good idea to sit down with your partner and write down an informal agreement. The agreement can include common issues that might pop up, such as who will stay in the current residence and which parties are going to have access to the various financial accounts. If kids are involved, the couple must decide where the kids are going to live and which parent will be responsible for them.
2. Permanent Separation
It’s an unfortunate fact that some couples can’t reconcile, which could result in a permanent separation. When a couple is permanently separated, their marital status isn’t going to change. Even if they live in different homes and create new lives for themselves, they’ll continue to be married. That being said, almost every other aspect of their lives is going to change. Most couples will evaluate and separate all their assets and mutual debts.
There are many different reasons people remain married even though they’re living separate lives. For some people, staying legally married can help with insurance coverage. Others stay legally married simply because it seems like an easier option than getting divorced. Religious factors can play a major role as well, and a legal separation could go against one’s beliefs.
3. Legal Separation
Even if a couple hasn’t been living together or speaking to one another for many years, they aren’t legally separated unless they go through a family court. A legal separation is very similar to a divorce, but the couple’s marital status doesn’t change. Much like a permanent separation, some people choose this option because divorcing is frowned upon in certain cultures and religions. Health insurance and other financial issues can make legal separations appealing as well.
During a legal separation, the judge will essentially treat the couple as if they’re going through a divorce. All their mutual assets and debts will be evaluated and split up. Once the legal separation has gone through, the couple is essentially divorced in everything but name.
For couples who aren’t quite ready for divorce, Divorce Options San Diego can mediate their legal separations. We help couples divide assets and debts and make legally binding agreements about child custody, child support, spousal support, and health care. If couples do choose to divorce and want the opportunity to make the process as smooth, respectful, and amicable as possible, there is an alternative to the animosity and high costs of traditional divorce: divorce mediation. San Diego couples can rely on Divorce Options San Diego’s expert divorce mediators to handle every aspect of their divorces, and there will be no need to spend a small fortune on litigation. To learn more about how we can help with legal separation and divorce mediation, call the experienced mediators from Divorce Options San Diego today at (858) 281-2628.
By the time you decide to get a divorce, you probably have a pretty good understanding of what’s coming. Although the process of getting a divorce in California is straightforward, it still helps to be prepared for each step and how you’ll live while you finalize your settlement. This pre-divorce planning checklist is designed to help you get started on the right foot with your new lifestyle.
Choose a Divorce Mediator
In California, mediation is the best option you have for reaching an amicable divorce agreement. Since San Diego divorce mediators work for both you and your spouse, it’s best to work with your spouse to find the mediator you’ll choose to work with on your settlement. Start this process as soon as possible so you can set up your first appointment to begin working through the next parts of your divorce.
Get Your Information Together
Your first appointment with a mediator involves setting up a plan for the rest of the decision-making, and having the right information, such as financial records, on hand helps with this process. Your mediator will also need information such as your children’s social security numbers before he or she files certain documents with the court.
Think About How You’ll Live During the Divorce
Divorce usually means making major life changes. For example, you may need to move out of your house during the divorce, or you may have to obtain a job for the first time in years if you’re a stay-at-home parent. Spend some time thinking about what your life will be like during the divorce process so you can begin to make plans for how to address each change.
Write Down a List of Your Desired Outcomes
You also need to know what you want your life to look like after the divorce. As you take this step, try to be realistic about what you can actually manage. For instance, you may need to consider setting up a childcare arrangement, or you may need to get a different job if you prefer to keep your house. You should also consider the need to potentially compromise on certain decisions to achieve the goals that are most important to you.
Set Up a P.O. Box and Personal Email Account
During your marriage, you probably shared a mailing address, and you might have also shared an email account. Now that you’re separating, you need your own private space to receive important letters and messages. Setting up a P.O. box ensures you always receive your mail, and this is essential if you move out of your house during the divorce. As you set up your personal email account, consider changing passwords on any other accounts you don’t share with your spouse.
If you want an alternative to hiring lawyers and going through a drawn-out, acrimonious process, reach out to the team at Divorce Options San Diego, experienced professionals who provide premier San Diego divorce mediation services to couples seeking creative divorce solutions. We offer a one-stop shop approach for couples who are looking for a way to dissolve their marriages amicably and with mutual respect. We can handle every aspect of your divorce for you, so there won’t be a need to hire expensive attorneys. To learn more about our revolutionary approach to divorce, give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.
Getting a divorce in California requires you to be aware of the laws the state government has in place to protect everyone’s rights. Today, not all jurisdictions require mediation, although it’s encouraged to help you develop a plan for how you and your spouse will share important responsibilities, such as child custody. Mediation also helps you divide your personal property and debts fairly. While mediation gives you more control over your situation compared to other forms of divorce agreement processes, it’s important to know when and how the decisions you make become legally binding.
Legal Restrictions that Apply from the Beginning
When you first file for your divorce, you’re provided with a form that explains what happens after the Petition and Summons are submitted. In California, you may not be able to do things such as take minor children out of the state until a custody plan is in place. You may also be prohibited from making major financial changes, such as cashing in an insurance policy. These restrictions are simply meant to keep your current situation in place so both parties have the same rights while working to reach a successful agreement.
Decisions that Are Made in Mediation
You already likely know you’ll need to make decisions about things such as child custody and the division of your property. However, you may also need to make decisions that apply to any special situations, such as who will take over your shared small business. Couples with pets may include them in custody and visitation arrangements, and you may need to figure out who is responsible for certain debts. When they use divorce mediators, San Diego couples can customize their divorce agreements to satisfy all their personal needs.
When Mediation Agreements Become Legally Binding
In the early stages of the mediation process, you and your spouse will make several decisions. While it’s recommended that you try to start living by the decisions as soon as you can to make sure they work, it’s not a legal requirement until the final agreement is signed and approved. Keep in mind you still need to abide by any legal restrictions that were in place during the petition process. When in doubt, consult with your mediator, who will know exactly what you can and cannot do legally.
What to Do if a Change Is Necessary
Going through mediation helps you avoid having to revise your divorce settlement, since you have as much time as you need to work things out with your spouse. However, changes sometimes occur due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a career change or a health issue that affects how you care for your children. In these cases, you can consult with your mediator again to begin the process of changing your agreement.
If you and your spouse want to reach a legally binding agreement while reducing the amount of stress and the costs involved in your divorce, the answer you’re seeking may be in divorce mediation. San Diego couples can have every aspect of their divorces handled without the need to hire attorneys, go to court, or spend a small fortune. To learn more about how divorce mediation can be the ideal option for you and your family, call the expert mediators at Divorce Options San Diego today at (858) 281-2628.
Traditional divorce methods can be difficult for all parties involved, which is why so many people look for alternative solutions to ease the process. Some alternatives can prevent drawn-out courtroom battles and work in the best interests of couples with small children. The expert San Diego divorce mediators from Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals couples rely on to manage all the financial, legal, and practical aspects of respectful divorce agreements—offer the following information about different divorce options for your family and the benefits of each choice.
The most common divorce alternative is mediation. Couples who use mediation can go through the process of dividing property, finances, and other assets without stepping into a courtroom. During the mediation process, you can amicably voice your wishes and opinions, work with your spouse on a fair solution, and draft an agreement that’s processed by the court without having to stand before a judge. Once both parties sign the divorce agreement, it’s reviewed by a judge and becomes legally binding. Mediation can take a few months, while traditional divorce proceedings can last for years.
Sometimes couples need a break from each other so they can reexamine their lives. They may need to spend time apart to work on their personal goals or find out what they want in life. There are various types of separation, including legal, permanent, and trial separations.
A trial separation is when you and your spouse are living apart and decide to reconcile. During the separation, your finances and parental responsibilities remain the same.
Couples who choose permanent separation have no plans to reconcile. During this time, the assets you acquire legally belong to you and don’t have to be shared with your spouse. If your spouse incurs any debts during a legal separation, he or she is responsible for those bills. Keep in mind that briefly reconciling could have financial consequences. Therefore, you should speak with a legal professional to get more information about your rights and responsibilities.
With a legal separation, you’re no longer married, but you’re not divorced. You’re not allowed to remarry unless you file for an official divorce. A legal separation order granted by family court typically involves the division of property, spousal support, and child custody.
As with a divorce, an annulment can dissolve a marriage. However, the way marriage is treated differs significantly. When a couple chooses annulment, the marriage is treated as if it never happened, and the union isn’t considered legal or legitimate. To qualify for an annulment, a couple generally has to show at least one of the following:
• Lack of consent
With this option, you and your spouse work toward an agreement without going to court. Both parties hire attorneys to represent their legal interests. The attorneys advise their clients and negotiate a settlement agreement. Other professionals, such as a divorce financial planner, may step in during the collaborative divorce process. All parties involved, including the attorneys, must sign the agreement before it’s sent to family court and signed by a judge.
San Diego divorce mediation allows a couple to work out the various aspects of their divorce with a neutral party. You can rely on Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced divorce mediators to manage every aspect of your divorce. Our focus is on ensuring fairness and mutual satisfaction for both spouses. To learn more about how our comprehensive divorce mediation process can be the ideal solution for you, call Divorce Options San Diego today at (858) 281-2628.
Filing for a divorce can be mentally, emotionally, and financially challenging. It’s a good idea to speak with a legal professional to determine what your options are before moving forward. Each situation is different, but the team from Divorce Options San Diego—experienced professionals who are revolutionizing the divorce process with expert divorce mediation San Diego couples can rely on for creative divorce solutions—offer this advice about expenses you might encounter when getting divorced in San Diego.
Fees for Legal Paperwork
Filing legal documents with the court is a necessary part of the divorce process. Some of these documents include the initial petition, financial information, and settlement agreements. In addition to filing these documents, you generally need to pay the fees to serve the legal paperwork to your spouse or his or her divorce lawyer, if you’re using attorneys.
When going through traditional divorces, many individuals hire attorneys to make sure their paperwork is filed correctly and to receive legal representation in court. The fees for divorce attorneys vary. Most lawyers charge by the hour, with rates as low as $150 per hour to more than $500 for each hour of service. If you choose to hire an attorney, you may need to pay additional fees for paralegal assistance and other legal staff, depending on the divorce law firm you select.
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are other costs your lawyer will expect you to cover throughout the trial, which can be a long, drawn-out process. If your team calls on expert witnesses and consultants, they must be compensated for their testimony. These experts could include appraisers, social workers, or financial analysts. The median income in San Diego will determine how much you’re expected to pay these professionals for the time they spend testifying on your behalf. It’s common to spend thousands of dollars on miscellaneous expenses like these.
There’s a six-month waiting period for all couples filing for divorce in San Diego. Once those six months pass, the process could take many more months, or even years, to complete. The more time the divorce takes, the more expensive the process will be. An amicable split with no children could be resolved more quickly, as opposed to a high-conflict divorce that involves kids. If you and your spouse are using attorneys, once you file for divorce, you have to be assigned a court date based on the court calendar. Your attorney must be available on this date, or you’ll have to reschedule. Some spouses intentionally delay the trial, leading to more expenses and longer waiting periods.
Mediation is a popular and much less expensive alternative to hiring lawyers. A neutral third party (a professional mediator) will mediate the disputes between you and your spouse, helping you both reach an agreement. Although the mediator actively participates in the negotiations, you and your spouse have full control over the decisions pertaining to the divorce, and you never have to go to court. Once you’ve reached an agreement, a signed copy will be sent to the court and signed by the judge.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the expensive, contentious, attorney-centered manner in which divorces are usually handled, call on the trustworthy professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re experienced divorce mediators San Diego couples can rely on to help them dissolve their marriages in a fair way based on mutual respect, leaving both parties satisfied and ready to move on with their lives. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.