Any family law dispute can have devastating effects on the lives of many. Divorce mediation can spare family members a public display of personal grievances that should be kept private. Public displays can damage parental relationships with their children as well as with other family members and friends. In the state of California, family mediation has been mandated for child custody and support disputes since 1980. It is recommended to have a mediator who is experienced with family law issues; someone who can better understand the delicacy of issues with custody, visitation rights, and expectations to child support, spousal support and property settlements. The mediator can offer the parties to a divorce a neutral environment, free of the constraints and the adversarial nature of court proceedings, giving each party the ability to express their concerns and expectations. Often mediation can help the parties involved come to a new understanding of the situation that results in a resolution best suited to all parties, especially minor children.
Barry Brandt’s approach to divorce mediation is to help ease the occurrence of communication breakdown and negative emotions. Lack of good communication is considered a leading cause of divorce; therefore, it is unlikely a resolution can be brought about without the assistance of a trained professional. The goal of divorce mediation is to come to a resolution that both parties feel content with, rather than a battle won by one side over the other. Barry Brandt attempts to avoid the frustration, resentment and disappointment that can become the product of a divorce that is drawn out in a courtroom setting.
Child Custody Mediation
California law mandates that the best interest of the children be the principal concern in a custody case. Having someone dedicated to improving the communication between parents when handling a custody matter is imperative for the best resolution possible. Mediation has the ability to put long-term planning at the forefront, because with children the future needs to be the end goal.
It is without question that the benefits of mediation far surpass the likely negative outcome of a confrontational court battle. Child custody mediation provides parents an opportunity to resolve any disputes about a parenting plan for their children in a non-confrontational environment. Difficult issues with child support can be geared toward the children's needs within the parameters of resources available in a post-divorce financial structure. Mediation also provides an opportunity to honestly look toward the child’s future and develop a parenting plan that considers the relationships that are in the child’s best interest.
Property Settlement Mediation
The costs of litigation often explode over the division of marital assets and debt. The equity built during a marriage can disappear in legal fees and court costs. Barry Brandt’s fees are based on the time it takes to resolve a matter, not driven by how much money one or the other party can win. Mediation is about finding a compromise that satisfies the needs of both parties.
In court you may be bound by statutory limits and a judge’s decision that fails to account for your particular situation and the future of you family. Just because your marriage came to an unexpected end doesn’t mean all your plans and aspirations or those of your children must end as well. As a family you may decide that it’s best to keep the residence until your children graduate from high school. You may have a family business where you would collectively suffer should you try to liquidate in order to accommodate an imposed settlement. Situations like this and other circumstances that may have consequences for family members, friends and associates, are best left in the control of those involved to a mediated settlement rather than mandated by a court.
Post Divorce Modification
Life changes and so do plans. Sometimes what you thought was already handled needs to be reassessed. Mediating issues that inevitably arise after a divorce is always preferable over returning to court. Changes in finances for one or both spouses may render prior arrangements impractical. Geographic changes in employment opportunities or educational and medical needs of the children may require changes to your parenting plan. An issue may not have been properly dealt with in the property settlement agreement. Whatever the issue, a mediator experienced in family law can help you come to an understanding that fits your family’s circumstances.
As a former family law attorney, Barry Brandt was one of the first attorneys to be certified as a Family Law Specialist, a designation earned by less than 1% of the bar. He has extensive experience with divorce cases, parenting agreements and property settlements. Contact Barry Brandt to mediate your family law issues.