Once the difficult decision to end a marriage has been made, most couples prefer to move swiftly through the divorce process, while also being careful to protect their rights regarding child custody, financial matters and more.
Couples often say they want to work together to finalize a divorce and get on with their lives. The truth, however, is that if you go through the traditional court system, which is designed to litigate, the chances are good that you will litigate.
A La Jolla Divorce Attorney Offering Two Alternative Resolution Options
Andrew S. Perkins, A Professional Law Corporation, in San Diego, California, helps clients develop effective, enforceable divorce and custody agreements without the formality and cost of litigation. I am attorney Andrew S. Perkins. I have practiced family law for 30 years and have worked with couples in a mediation role for 15 years.
Mediation is a voluntary, flexible, non-adversarial process for deciding family law matters using assistance from a neutral party. Mediation is generally less expensive than litigating a divorce, in large part because agreements are reached more rapidly and require less time from attorneys. Mediation also reduces the stress of divorce and allows couples to retain more control over the important decisions that will shape their post-divorce lives.
Some couples who are unable to resolve differences through mediation have more success when I serve as a private judge. In this instance, I am hired by both parties to substitute for the court-required settlement process.
A private judge attempts to bring the parties to an agreement, but ultimately retains the authority to determine what is best. The parties are bound by a private judge’s order just like any other court order. It is important to find a private judge who is both experienced and highly regarded in the legal community in his or her field.
One advantage of using a private judge is that the process moves at a more brisk pace than in the traditional family court system because the matter proceeds uninterrupted in a private office. As a result, the process also significantly reduces the cost of litigation in most cases.
A Custom Approach
Both mediation and private judging can address the full spectrum of divorce issues, such as child custody, child support, visitation schedules, and property division. If the divorcing spouses already agree on all but a single issue, they can focus on that issue with a mediator or private judge.
A lawyer who serves as a mediator or a private judge does not represent either party in a divorce. Instead, a mediator is committed to finding a resolution that allows both parties in a divorce to keep more control over the final outcome rather than subject themselves to the decisions of a family court judge.
I work with couples from diverse backgrounds. My office is conveniently located near the San Diego Courthouse and the Emerald Plaza, and is easily accessible from public transit. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of using a private judge or an experienced San Diego divorce mediation attorney, call 619-696-9922 or email me to schedule an appointment.
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