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Divorce Mediation Services
Laguna Legal | Mission Viejo, California
Divorce Mediation is the process where you and your spouse hire a neutral third party, called a mediator, to meet with you in an effort to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce.
The mediator does not make decisions for you, but rather serves as a facilitator to help you and your spouse figure out what is best for you and your spouse as well as your children.
The Role Of the Mediator
The mediator is neutral and doesn’t “work” for either parent. This means the mediator cannot give advice to either party. They must remain neutral no matter what the situation.
What the mediator can do, though, is assist the you and your spouse in formulating ideas that can eventually lead to agreements that will stand the test of time.
That open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a solution that makes sense to both spouses.
Videos About Divorce Mediation
How We Can Help
With Ellie’s help, you and your spouse will work through the issues that need to be resolved so that your marriage can end as amicably and cost effectively as possible.
She will assist in opening communication between you and your spouse to brainstorms ideas, ensure that expectations are realistic, nurture empathy, and provide clarity within the decision-making process. Ellie’s compassionate approach formulates a respectful relationship between spouses that is beneficial to all those involved.
Divorce Mediation is the Best Choice When Going Through a Divorce
Watch this video to learn more about Divorce Mediation and why it is the best choice when going through a divorce.
Ellie discusses her passion for mediation and why she feels that mediation is the best option when going through a divorce. Ellie has successfully guided thousands toward settlement.
Free Divorce Mediation Overview via Zoom
1st Tuesday of Each Month
Life isn’t always easy and it comes with many difficult decisions at times. When you know it’s time for divorce, we can help you prepare your documents and act as neutral party (mediator) so both parties can come to an agreement. Through the good and the bad, Laguna Legal wants to be there for you. If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce, please join us on the 1st Tuesday of every month for our Divorce Mediation Overview. The zoom event takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This is a overview session designed to give attendees an overview of the divorce mediation process. The employees of Laguna Legal are not attorneys and this meeting does not constitute legal advice. Each attendee will be required to register and sign a disclaimer prior to being sent a zoom link.
The link to register for the next zoom meeting is:
Divorce Mediation Benefits
We Work with Both Parties
In addition to the preparation and filing of your divorce paperwork, this option includes mediation which allows both spouses to collectively decide on the outcome of their own divorce. During mediation we will guide you and your spouse through the issues that need to be resolved so that your marriage can end as amicably and cost effectively as possible.
Costs of Mediated Divorce Services: Full Service
For this service, we charge $1,500 up front plus a $500 monthly payment for a minimum period of 7 months plus $478.50 filing fee ($435 plus $43.50 efiling fee).
If your divorce is not finalized in the 7-month contract time-frame or you need additional post Judgment services such as a QDRO, the monthly payments will continue until all services are completed. Please see the attached Divorce Payment Plan Contract for further details.
Costs of Mediated Divorce Services: Paperwork Only Service
This service is offered for those couples who have NO CHILDREN, NO PROPERTY OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT ISSUES to be ordered by the court.
The cost for this service is a $1,500 plus $478.50 filing fee ($435 plus $43.50 efiling fee).
Our office only deals with the Petitioner and all financial exchanges take place privately between the parties without our involvement (unlike the first option).
After engaging our office, the only interaction between our office and the client will be the requesting of information and sending paperwork for review and signing. This is a paperwork only service and must be resolved completely within 3 months of commencement. If not completed at the end of 3 months and you would like our office to continue to assist you, you can opt to go onto a $500 monthly payment plan until the final Judgment is entered.
Divorce Mediation FAQs
Divorce mediation is about you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse deciding your own divorce and what is best for the both of you and most importantly, for your children. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, Ellie Tipton Ortiz, and with Ellie’s help, you work through the issues you need to resolve so the two of you can end your marriage as amicably and cost effective as possible. Ellie does this by assisting the divorcing couple in formulating ideas that can eventually lead to agreements.
Each case is different and has different factors and circumstances which call for and receive individual attention. A separate analysis of individual issues is made and they are handled accordingly. Complex cases involving custody, property, support, pension, and difficult parties, generally take more time. With cooperation of both parties, the Family Law matter can move forward to a reasonable and prompt resolution.
Once the Petition is served on the Respondent, the six (6) month clock commences to run for the obtaining of a final decree of dissolution. While many dissolutions take longer than six months to resolve, no final decree of dissolution can be entered sooner than the six month period, and will only be entered with a full settlement agreement or agreement to bifurcate the marriage status.
Yes, as long as your domestic partnership has been registered with the State of California.
A Summons and Petition will be prepared and filed with the superior court in the county where you or your spouse lives. You will have to pay a fee to the Court to file these papers.
There are several steps that may occur after you file. Disclosures will be filled out, an agreement (resolving dissolution without having to appear in court) will be drafted and reviewed and finalized in a mediation session. Final papers will be filed and judgement will be obtained.
You may have religious, insurance, tax or other reasons for wanting a legal separation instead of a dissolution. To file for divorce in California, you must have resided in California for a minimum of six months AND in the county you’re filing in for a minimum of three months. If you have recently moved to California and do not meet the above residency requirements, but you need to file paperwork now to obtain temporary orders for custody or support, your only option is to file for legal separation. If you obtain a legal separation, you and your spouse will remain married, but the court can divide the property and issue orders relating to child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support, and, if necessary, a restraining order. A legal separation requires a mutual agreement.
If you file for legal separation, then while the proceedings are still pending you decide you’d prefer a divorce, or if you did not meet the residency requirements before and now do, the process may be quite simple. You will use the same Judicial Council forms (Petition and Summons) that you used to file for legal separation, only this time you will need to mark each form “AMENDED” and, on the Petition, check the box for “Dissolution of Marriage”. Caveat – if the other party has filed his or her Response to your first Petition or you have already filed an amended Petition, you will need court approval to file a new amended Petition.
There is generally no additional filing fee with the court, but you should check the rules for your county before you go to the courthouse to file the forms. Once you’ve filed the amended forms with the court, your spouse must be served again by any adult other than yourself, just as before, and a Proof of Service of Summons must be completed and filed with the court.
Now for the exception…if you have already obtained a final Judgment of Legal Separation from the court and later decide that you would like a divorce, you cannot file amended paperwork as indicated above. You will need to start over with a new case.
The law does allow parents to make agreements that are different from the Child Support Guideline, provided that there are reasonable assurances that the children’s needs will be met. Child Support can always be modified to Guideline.
Guideline support takes into account the incomes of each parent and the percentage of time that the parents spend with the children. Guideline Support does not take into account your budget. Parents generally follow the Guideline, but can also work together to find a different resolution.
Spousal support is the term for alimony in California. Spousal support is money that one spouse pays to help support the other after the filing of a dissolution.
To determine the amount of spousal support, there are many factors to consider. They include but are not limited to: the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, earning capacity and job histories of both individuals, and any other relevant factors.
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We’ve been providing Southern California with Excellent Legal Document and Divorce Mediation services since 1998.
We service the following counties: Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Imperial.
Laguna Legal Headquarters
24800 Chrisanta Drive, Suite 200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691