Law & Mediation Office of Teresa A. Stanley
Mediated Agreements or Assertive Representation
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What is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation provides an opportunity for two people to cooperatively resolve their divorce-related issues:

Child Custody: Discover what options exist for determining a custody and parenting plan that suits your family. Jointly obtain legal advice and creative suggestions that will benefit your children.

Child Support: Find out how California law works, and how to resolve the financial needs of the children while still meeting your personal goals

Spousal Support: There are many ways to meet the needs of ex-spouses after separation. Find creative solutions that work for both of you.

Property Division: Some aspects of property and debt division are straight- forward and some are not. Again, mediation gives you the opportunity to craft decisions that help you to meet your own goals.

What are the Benefits of Mediation?
You do not need to agree on issues in advance in order to mediate! Several benefits apply to mediating your case instead of litigating:

Cost Savings: Most attorneys require a retainer fee in advance of taking your case. Then the lawyer for each of you will charge you at their hourly rate each time they deal with your case (doubling the fees if they simply have a phone conversation with each other). In mediation, you will pay-as-you-go. There is no retainer fee, and no requirement that you continue mediation services. You simply pay for services as you use them.

Joint Legal Advice: For the hourly rate of one attorney, both of you are able to have all of your legal questions answered and may obtain legal opinions as you need them.

Meet Your Family Goals: Instead of leaving decisions up to a judge who has known you for fifteen minutes, you may make your own decisions.

What Are the First Steps?
Set up an appointment! The only agreement you must make in advance is that you will try to mediate for at least one session (typically a 2-hour meeting).

Gather Documentation: You will need to communicate openly and fully disclose all relevant data to the other person. This includes information about your assets, debts, income, and expenses.
Consider Experts: As you mediate, you may decide if and when to also hire your own consulting attorney, an accountant, an appraiser, an actuary, or any other expert.
Rely on Mediator: An attorney/mediator does not represent either one of you. The mediator must be unbiased. It is the mediator's duty to facilitate agreements, to provide legal input and ensure you make informed decisions, and to offer creative solutions that meet your goals.
Try It, You'll Like It: You are under no obligation to continue mediation if you feel it does not work for you. Call Teresa A. Stanley, (916) 353-0112, to schedule your first mediation session. Or e-mail

Even More Benefits?
Avoid Court: Most family law cases settle — eventually. You can avoid the emotional and dollar costs of going to court and still come to a compromise agreement, as will likely happen at some point in your case.

Maintain Respect: The mediation process is designed to maintain respectful communication between the two of you. You do not need to agree in advance to what you wish to do with your divorce issues. You do need to look to the future and not re-hash the past.

Avoid Court
Save Money
Do What is Fair
Determine Your Rights
Meet Your Goals