Mediation and Collaborative Family Law Services

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process in which a neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute. In mediation, a mediator helps parties understand each others’ perspectives and discuss options for settlement. Mediators do not decide who is right and who is wrong. The decision whether to settle is always up to the parties. The mediator has no authority to impose a settlement on the parties.

Benefits of Mediation

Reduced Cost – The mediation process can be a more affordable solution when used as part of the dispute resolution process. Enlisting the service of a single mediator to assist with resolving differences will likely be much more cost-effective that hiring two attorneys and resolving the dispute in court.

Greater Control – By using the mediation process, both parties have greater control over the process and generally are more satisfied with the resulting settlements. With the assistance of the mediator, both parties can provide input and help shape the settlement result. In contrast, when resolving disputes through the court process, parties may not be happy with the rulings that the court makes.

Managing Relationships – The court/litigation process may have a negative impact on the parties’ co-parenting relationship, and on the relationships both parties have with family and friends. All these relationships could be negatively impacted during a litigation process and even by the rulings made by the Court. By using a mediation process, the impacts upon these relationships can be minimized. Mediation allows a greater opportunity for relationships to be maintained both during and after the process.

How can Silva Family Law help you with mediation services?

Raquel M. Silva, CFLS, has extensive mediation experience and training to assist parties in reaching mutually-acceptable agreements in a respective process. As an attorney-mediator, she will meet with the parties to facilitate a settlement and prepare all required court forms and documents as needed.

Collaborative Divorce

Imagine a divorce model where you don’t have to appear in court and the unnecessary emotional damage and financial strain to your family is mitigated. Collaborative Divorce/Collaborative Practice is such a model. With the Collaborative Divorce process, couples pledge in writing work with the assistance of a collaborative practice team to resolve differences in a mutually respectful manner. Couples who choose to utilize this process are able focus on the long-term interests of the parties, their children, and future financial health while avoiding the adversarial environment of the traditional litigation and court divorce model.

The Collaborative Divorce model includes:

  • Encouraging mutual respect between parties
  • Emphasizing the needs of children
  • Avoiding court
  • Open communications between parties
  • Using a problem-solving approach
  • Control of the process remains with the parties
  • Open and honest exchanging of information between parties
  • Reaching an agreement that meets the needs of both parties
  • Avoiding the expense of adversarial litigation

Attorney Raquel M. Silva, CFLS*, is passionate about the Collaborative Practice Model and is an active member of the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. More information about the collaborative process, including videos and future workshop dates, can be found at: http://www.DivorceOption.com.