Divorce mediation requires a few ingredients to be successful. It requires cooperation. It requires communication. But there is one more thing…
Your divorce mediation requires honesty.
Our divorce mediation lawyers will help you avoid litigation if you and your spouse treat each other like the California Family Code demands – like fiduciaries. That means California Family Law requires, as one example, “accurate and complete” disclosure of all transactions and that spouses share equal management and control of their community property.
Emptying out bank account, hiding assets or any deceptive behavior is punished seriously and severely by the Family Court. There have been many instances where the Court has actually given 100% of the community property that was absconded or not disclosed to the innocent spouse. That is why full disclosure is step two of the mediation process at Farzad Family Law. We expect that, despite your disagreements and regardless of any hurt feelings that exist, you and your spouse treat the process with respect and ensure that each of you gives the other complete information about all assets, debts, income and expenses. How is this done?
Farzad Family Law will provide you with the mandatory Family Court forms that must be completed by you and your spouse and exchanged between you two so that everyone is operating with the same information and disclosures throughout the divorce mediation process.
The two most important forms include an income and expense declaration and a schedule of assets and debts. The name of these forms is self explanatory. The income and expense declaration requires each of you to separately complete all information regarding your income and expenses. It details any type of income available to you including W2, 1099 or self employment. The expense portion requires you to fill in your actual, estimated or proposed expenses.
Accuracy is key. Honesty is critical. Over or understating the numbers only causes more disagreement and time spent correcting the data. Will you be alone during this process? No. We are there for you and will help you with the forms. We know legal forms can get confusing and you may not know what information is being requested. That is why, throughout the divorce mediation process, we will thoroughly go through every section of the form with you and ensure you understand the information being requested and why it is being requested.
Once the forms are completed and all of the supporting documents that the forms require (bank statements, deeds, etc.) are exchanged between you and your spouse, we will discuss with each of you how you wish to divide the assets and debts and give you options available to each of you. It is during this time that we also discuss issues such as custody, visitation, child support and alimony.
The disclosure phase of your divorce mediation generally takes one to three sessions with phone calls and emails in between, depending on the complexity of your issues. No matter what, you will know that you saved tremendous time and money throughout the divorce mediation process compared to what you would have gone through in litigation.
Once the disclosure phase is complete, we will move on to the final phase of your mediation process – Resolution.