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Divorce Mediation Attorney in Orange County

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A Mediated Divorce is where you and your spouse sit together with a lawyer from our office and agree upon the terms of the divorce. No judges and no expensive trial. This is by far the most preferential way to resolve your divorce if your desire is to avoid the long, slow expensive battle between two divisive sides with separate attorneys. We simplify the entire process with the following three steps:

  • We meet together, draft the initial paperwork and file it for you;
  • We help you complete your (mandatory) declarations of disclosure;
  • We discuss, negotiate, draft and file your final divorce judgment with the court

As your mediator, we do everything for you, start to finish, without ever having to go to court. If you and your spouse prefer the idea of an uncontested, mediated divorce, contact us for a free consultation and we’ll discuss how we can help you.

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How does the process work?

Every mediated divorce is different. Some couples have children, some do not. Some couples have real estate, and some do not. Some have a net worth of a few thousand dollars and some in the millions of dollars. The divorce process and, more specifically, the paperwork involved in a divorce is the same whether you are rich or poor. However, for the purposes of explaining the process of mediation, the typical mediation goes generally as follows. We typically have 3 face to face meetings and one final very short meeting with both parties to sign final documents. Typically, we’ll conduct four meetings between you and your spouse:

Our 1st Meeting:

Duration: 1 1/2 – 2 hours

  • Meet with Both Clients. Answer preliminary questions;
  • Discuss many of the issues we will face in your particular divorce;
  • Discuss the desired resolution of many issues by both clients;
  • Explanation of the law relating to many of the major issues concerning parties;
  • Assist both clients by preparing and filing their respective “Petition” & “Response”;
  • Assist clients by explaining the required disclosure process;
  • Begin drafting both parties’ declarations of disclosures.

Our 2nd Meeting:

Duration: 2-3 hours

  • Meet with Both Clients;
  • Serve the Petitioner with “Petition” and the Respondent with “Petition”;
  • Complete both parties’ declarations of disclosure;
  • Begin discussions of broad issues in dissolution;
  • Began drafting actual judgment packet.

Our 3rd Meeting:

Duration: 2-3 hours

  • Finalize all remaining issues/questions in the case;
  • Finish drafting judgment packet;
  • Review the entire judgment with both clients;
  • Send both parties away with a completed judgment packet for review

Our 4th Meeting:

Duration: 15 mins. – 1/2 hour

  • Make any final additions, changes, corrections in judgment packet;
  • Answer all final questions;
  • Sign entire judgment packet (final dissolution papers).

Common Concerns

We’re both so upset, I don’t know if we can talk through it.

We realize that many people are so upset with one another that they find it difficult to believe that they can sit in the same room with their spouse, talk through the emotionally driving issues necessary to complete their divorce, and actually finish. You can. This is what we do. We have experience dealing with almost every personality type. Give us the chance to help you through the mediation process. We’re confident that we can help you through the emotional and financial strains often associated with a divorce so that you save time, money, and heartache. You actually can get divorced and never see a judge, or a courtroom. We’ll help you.

How long does it typically take?

You are in control of the timing of these meetings and therefore your divorce. But typically, we take somewhere between seven days to 3 weeks between each meeting. If we need or desire additional meetings to discuss certain “hot” issues, or need more time in between meetings for any reason, we will do that. We are 100% in control of our timing. After the final “signature” meeting, we will do whatever is necessary to get the paperwork filed with the court. Keep in mind, the State of California requires a minimum waiting period of six months (“cooling off period”) before your divorce can be “final”. That 6 month waiting period begins either 1) When the Respondent is served with the “Petition”, or 2) When the Respondent files their “Response”, whichever occurs first.

In our mediations, the “Petition” and the “Response” are both prepared in our first meeting, and filed shortly thereafter. So, generally speaking, our entire paperwork process is completed long before your divorce can be finalized by the State.

After the judgment is filed, we will get it back with a termination (of your marriage) date printed on the judgment. After we file the judgment, you and your spouse will typically need to wait another couple months for the final divorce date. If you and your spouse prefer the idea of an uncontested, mediated divorce, and you feel that you would like to give mediation a try before you both spend 3 times as much just on two separate retainers, or if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us for a free consultation and we will discuss how we can help you.

Do we have to go to court?

No. Although it usually takes an experienced attorney to make it happen.

You may find this hard to believe, but most divorces can be settled out of court with little or no conflict, and without a single trip to the courthouse. We have an excellent track record of helping those that want a simple and uncomplicated divorce by assisting them outside of court.

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Call Pinkham & Associates Now for a Free Family Law Consultation

If you are ready to hire an experienced and dedicated divorce and family law attorney in Orange County, California, call Pinkham & Associates now to speak to Doug Pinkham personally. Your initial consultation is free, and we will be happy to provide some free legal advice and help you determine whether we are indeed the right family law firm to represent you.