Private vs. “Public” Mediation
Because of the names that California has given certain procedures in our court system there is a lot of confusion around mediation.
“Public Mediation” (CCRC- child custody recommendation counseling):
Many believe that the court automatically sends you to mediation when you are divorcing or have a case in family law court. In Southern California that is not true. Where the confusion comes in is that if you have a disagreement about how to share your child(ren) with the other party, whether you are married or not, and you file paperwork with the court requesting a court hearing to have the judge address the issue, the court sends you to what used to be called mediation and is now called Custody Recommendation Counseling (CCRC), prior to any court hearing. The only thing you can discuss there is how to share your children. You are not allowed to discuss any property issues or financial issues. CCRC is free and is mandatory in Riverside County as well as in most cases in San Bernardino county. This procedure is much different than private mediation which is the topic we are covering here. You can learn more about CCRC here.
In California Family law private Mediation is when you and your spouse pay to sit down with a third-party neutral person to assist you in coming to an agreement on the issues in a divorce, or custody situation. The mediator, usually an attorney, does not represent either party, but rather remains neutral to assist both parties in coming to an agreement.
What Is the Mediation Process Like?
There are no procedural laws governing how anyone does mediation. Therefore, Moore Family Law Group has developed its unique procedure for handling mediation to ensure that it is handled in the most efficient and beneficial way to the parties.
Step 1 – Check us out to see if you feel like it’s a good fit for you. You can do this on YouTube, Facebook, Avvo, and Google.
Step 2 – Call our office to schedule an appointment to speak with our client relations manager for details on fees and any other procedural questions that the parties have.
Step 3 – Complete the packet of paperwork that our office will send you in preparation for the mediation.
Step 4 – Both parties arrive at your mediation appointment and meet with your mediator for 2 hours.
Step 5 – Assuming a global resolution is entered into- our office begins to prepare all the paperwork to finalize your divorce Judgement.
Step 6 – Once the first draft is completed, it is sent to both parties for review for any errors in information (NOT substantive changes that would change the intention of the agreement arrived at in the actual mediation).
Step 7 – Once both parties sign off on the Judgement our office prepares the filing to be submitted to court.
Step 8 – Once the court files it, we make sure all parties have a copy and the parties are able to move on and start the next chapter of their life!
What Does the Mediator Do?
- Offer ideas to solve the problem
- Explain what the law is
- Make predictions on what would occur if the issue was brought to court and litigated
- Help parties think outside the box for creative solutions
- Find out what each party really wants and what matters most and help craft solutions to get to the “heart” of each parties’ true desires.
- Keep the peace between the parties
- Answer legal questions that either party may have
What Does the Mediator Not Do?
- Advise either party on what they should agree to or not agree to
- Advocate for either party unequally
- Sign the agreement
- Take sides
How Long Does the Process Take?
Assuming the parties sign the documents timely and respond to any inquiries timely a general estimate would be approximately 90 days from the initial mediation appointment to finalization of the Judgement.