Mediation is a less formal approach to dispute resolution. Parties agree to the selection of a mediator, who acts as a third party neutral. As a neutral, the mediator does not take sides in the adversarial process. Instead, the mediator will meet with both parties and assist them in reaching agreement on all of their outstanding issues, e.g. the division of all community assets and debts, custody and support. The mediation sessions take place in the privacy of the mediator’s office and are usually scheduled in blocks of two to three hours. An added benefit of mediation is that the mediation sessions are confidential.
Once the parties are able to reach agreement on all of their issues, the mediator will generally write up a Memorandum of Understanding or other similar document, which incorporates all of the agreements reached by the parties. Each party will then be advised to have the agreement reviewed by separate counsel before signing it. Thereafter, the agreement is incorporated into a formal Stipulated Judgment, signed by both parties and filed with the court.
All of the attorneys at Youngman Reitshtein, PLC are trained mediators, and this training informs our approach to resolution of all of our cases. Partner Barbara J. Youngman volunteers regularly as a mediator at Loyola Law School’s Center for Conflict Resolution and has served as a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Family Law Division.
Our attorneys can mediate your divorce, or if you have already chosen an individual to mediate your divorce, we can represent you individually and advise you during the mediation process. Our attorneys are also available to independently draft or review Stipulated Judgments following agreement in mediation.