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626.441.1900

272 South Los Robles Avenue #203, Pasadena, CA 91101

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator in Pasadena

DIVORCE MEDIATION or LITIGATION: COMPARING COST and CONVENIENCE

 COMPARING MEDIATION to LITIGATION

 

When couples are separating, money is usually tight for a while until the “new normal” kicks in.  You want the best possible process for all aspects of your divorce, but most likely, you don’t have a small fortune spend.  For most people, a mediated divorce is more likely to be satisfactory to the parties than a litigated divorce, in terms of convenience, speed of resolution, control, and cost.
This chart compares the cost and convenience of divorce mediation  and divorce litigation in the Pasadena, CA area, as of Summer 2016.  Think about this:  when there are decisions at stake that may affect you for the rest of your life, do you really want low cost to be the primary focus of your mediation?  Experience, compassion, and convenience are important, too.  As your mediator, my goal is to provide excellent, personalized service at convenient times, while being mindful of your desire for a reasonable price.  The mediation fees indicated are in the range typical for Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator.  Other mediators’ fees may be higher or lower.
MEDIATION LITIGATION
DAY or EVENING Flexible; most weekday appointments start at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM; Saturdays, 9:00 AM through 1:00 PM. Court’s work-day is – 8 AM to 5 PM;  attorneys generally don’t make appointments for 6:00 PM or Saturday morning
TIME TO RESOLVE YOUR CASE Usually a few weeks to a few months; within your control It can take months to get a court date for temporary orders; even longer for a full trial date
APPROACH Respectful and collaborative, striving for win/win solutions Adversarial;  winner / loser likely
DECISION MAKER You (the parties) The judge
CONTROL You (the parties); mediator as moderator The judge; lawyers
PROCESS Informal and private Formal and public
COST Reasonable – the mediation fee depends upon the amount of mediator preparation required, the number of meetings required, the complexity of issues, and level of conflict between the parties.  See chart in following post.

Reasonable is likely to be between $2,750 to $4,000 for the mediator’s fee in most cases for a comprehensive divorce mediation, and somewhat more for the mediator’s fee in complex cases.  Please call 626-441-1900 for more detailed information on fees.

Limited scope divorcemediation fees can be significantly less.  Please inquire.

Other Family Mediation Fees
Fees for pre-marital mediation, post-marital mediation, limited scope divorce mediation, and elder / adult sibling mediation are each different from the others.  Please call 626.441.1900 for more information.

Enormously expensive –

Attorney fees can range from $15,000 to $75,000, or even more, depending upon the number of court appearances, amount of preparation, complexity, etc.

Please note that this chart addresses the fee for mediation or litigation only.  Other fees may include court filing fees, party response fees, experts such as appraisers or financial advisers, consulting attorneys for mediation, and document preparation fees for paralegals or legal document assistants.

CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT – Part 2

Conflicting Information; Conflicting Feelings 
 
There are at least two types of conflict that can crop up in mediation: conflict over data or information, which is also known as cognitive conflict, and conflict over feelings, or  affective conflict.  Divorce mediation tends to focus on facts or information.  But before people can resolve their differences regarding facts or information, they may need to air their feelings.
 
Conflict over feelings has a greater potential to derail a productive mediation if it is not skillfully managed.  Sometimes, one party may seek to review relationship history and to assign blame for a particular outcome.  The blaming perspective is rarely productive.  This does not mean that feelings have no value in mediation; they do.  Often, it is impossible to move forward until each party has had the opportunity to state his or her truth about a matter, and to feel heard.  Then, when the parties feel truly heard, they can move on to reviewing their situation, to seeing it again with a new focus on current and future actions rather than past history.
For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit www.GeorgiaDaniels.com

CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT – PART 1

CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT in DIVORCE MEDIATION- Part 1- 
USING THE LENS OF RESPECT
 
Divorce mediation and differences of opinion go hand-in-hand.  How these differences are handled is what really counts.  Divorce mediation is an agreement-reaching process that typically goes through several stages on the way to reaching a fair and lasting agreement.   Along the way, reliance on constructive conflict, or using the lens of respect, is an effective strategy for managing conflict in divorce mediation.  Even when feelings are high, forward movement toward a mutually agreeable solution is possible when all parties abide by process guidelines or ground rules that focus on mutual respect.
For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit www.GeorgiaDaniels.com

Who has the Power?

 WHO HAS THE POWER IN MEDIATION?

In mediation, who has the Power to Decide?  The difference between mediation and other ways to solve divorce problems is that in mediation,  the clients have the power to decide all issues between them.

At Window Rock, in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, the power of erosion created this unusual view through a mountain of stone.   Compare the erosion of stone with the erosion of the family through painful litigation of family matters.  This kind of pain can be avoided, at best, or at least managed with sensitivity.  In mediation,  clients themselves have the power to cut through societal expectations to design a solution that is “just right” for them.  This is the power of “self-determination.”

If you don’t know what is “just right” for you, your mediator will help you to brainstorm solutions that you can tweak to fit your needs.  Leave behind that which does not fit for you.  (Spoiler alert: there are a few topics that are mandatory, such as completion of honest, reliable financial disclosures for divorce, premarital agreements, or post-marital agreements).  In general, you have more control over the outcome in mediation than you would in litigation.  More control means more satisfaction with the outcome and more control over the cost – both financial and emotional.  For more information, call 626-441-1900.

Mediation – It’s Always One-of-a-Kind

Each family is different.  When contemplating options for a family that is no longer functioning well together, there is no “One-Size-Fits-All” solution.  If you are wondering what your options are, consider mediation.  Mediation is an agreement-reaching process in which a neutral listener, (the mediator) facilitates conversations between people whose recent history has been problematic.

In divorce mediation, the mediator convenes the conversations and makes sure that the topics necessary for a complete divorce agreement are discussed and included in the settlement document.

In marital mediation, the mediator works with both parties, coaching them on ways to listen and communicate more effectively.  Typically, the focus is on one specific issue that requires resolution so that the marriage may continue.

Just as each family is unique, the equipment shown above is unique on this planet, a prototype of an apparatus that explores variations of incredibly small particles.

The Little Engine That Did

When I was a child, one of my favorite stories to read to my younger brothers was about the little blue engine that saved the day for his humans, by hard work and repeating to himself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, …” until he did!  This summer, in Chamas, New Mexico, we encountered a steam engine that hauled us up and over the continental divide several times within six hours.  It was great fun, even when the beautiful steam plume changed into a cloud of thick black smoke, and then changed back again.

How does this relate to mediation?  Sometimes, the most important ingredient to a successful mediation is simply showing up, with the intention of reaching a fair agreement.  Over hills, and through dales, showing up consistently, with the attitude of “I think we can, I think we can, …” will transport you to your destination: a fair and reasonable settlement that works well for everyone involved.  Try it.  You may be amazed.  Call 626.441.1900 to schedule a free

What about mom?

“What About Mom?” is an interactive presentation about mediation that is free, fun and informative, including audience participation, a Reader’s Theater scenario for elder mediation, reflection, and discussion. Topics include marital mediation (mediation to stay married) and divorce mediation. “What About Mom?” runs about 45-50 minutes, and is available to churches and service groups. To schedule a time for your group, please call me (Georgia) at 626.441.1900.

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator | 272 S Los Robles Avenue #203, Pasadena, CA 91101 | 626.441.1900

Los Angeles Mediator and Pasadena Mediator disclaimer: The California divorce mediation, estate planning mediation, family business mediation, or other family mediation information presented in this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a mediator/client relationship. Please contact a Pasadena Mediator for a consultation on your particular situation.

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