Some spouses going through a divorce will agree on everything. Some spouses will not agree to anything. But what about those who agree on some issues in mediation related to their divorce case but not others? Are they doomed to litigate their entire case? Throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the cliche goes? Not with Farzad Family Law’s experienced Orange County divorce mediators.
Our mediation service puts spouses in a position to resolve their cases by ensuring each of them understands the law, learn how family law applies to their particular set of facts and the discretion the Family Court Judge has when he or she rules on the issues.
That is the “preview” each one of our divorce clients receive before they decide how to best resolve their case, with our help. When this process results in a settlement of some of the issues but not all of them, the issues that were resolved are memorialized in writing and signed by both spouses. Our mediators will then evaluate whether the issues the spouses disagree on are something that will require more work to bring the two of them closer to a settlement or if the spouses’ disagreement is a reasonable one and the Court would have to rule to bring closure.
If the spouse’s disagreement is a reasonable one or something that clearly the two of them cannot resolve, our divorce mediators will then specify in the written settlement agreement (called a stipulation and order or stipulated judgment depending on the circumstances) the exact issues the spouses don’t agree on. The spouses are then free to retain their own lawyers to litigate the issues.
How does this work in real life? Here is one example.
Let’s say husband makes $100,000.00 per year and wife is a stay at home mom. They have 2 children. Both of them agree on custody and the property issues. The only disagreement is husband’s claim that wife should be working and has the necessary skills to earn $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 per year. Wife disagrees. What happens then?
The husband and wife, with the help of our mediators, will enter into an agreement on the issues they can resolve – custody, visitation, property.
However, since wife’s ability to earn income is a disputed issue, the agreement both husband and wife sign and the Court approves specifically states that the issue of child support and spousal support is “reserved”. That means the husband and wife, one of them or both, has to file court papers (called an “order to show cause”) to bring that issue to Family Court.
The husband will need to file a separate request for a vocational evaluator to be appointed to the case and who would do an evaluation of wife’s earning ability, capacity and the opportunities for work. The vocational evaluation would then be completed and the evaluator (who is the Family Court’s expert) would report to the Court.
Could the Husband and Wife avoid this too? Sure. They could agree on a vocational evaluator.
Farzad Family Law’s divorce mediators work with some of the most reputable in the industry.
Instead of going to Court, wait and see what the evaluator finds regarding earnings numbers, if any. The spouses could then agree on the numbers or, if they still disagree, could then take the issue to Family Court.
This example shows you how it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, a divorce doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars just because you and your spouse agree on one or a few issues and with the experience of our mediators, we can help you reach a fair settlement and, even if you end up in Court on one or a few issues, make sure you don’t spend unnnecessary money or waste time doing so.
Contact Farzad Family Law and put the family law knowledge of our mediators to work for you. Click on the Contact Us button below to go to our Contact Us page.