Even if they have not been involved in one themselves, most people in the Los Angeles area have probably heard that family law issues can be very contentious.
Emotions are often strong on both sides, and there is a lot stake with issues like child custody, support and property division being on the table as two people try to untangle their affairs.
However, many Californians recognize that there pursuing an alternative to a knockdown courtroom fight may be better for their children, their own emotional well-being and their pocketbooks.
Family law mediation gives people some control over their own affairs
For example, a couple may choose to use mediation to resolve a family law issue. In mediation, a third party with some knowledge of family law will help each side negotiate.
Ideally, they will come to an agreement that both of them can live with. If not, though, the process is entirely confidential and comes with no obligation.
Collaborative law is a non-adversarial approach to family law
Unlike mediation, in collaborative family law, the parties will rely on their own attorneys. However, the attorneys agree that they will approach the case with an eye toward reaching an agreement. They will exchange information freely and work together to reach a solution.
As with mediation, there is no obligation to agree. However, if the parties cannot agree, they will have to get new lawyers in order to take the matter to court.
Litigation does not have to involved an all-or-nothing approach
In some cases, preparing to take one’s case to a trial before a judge is the best approach. This does not, however, mean that a courtroom hearing will take place or that it will be especially nasty. Many cases on a litigation track eventually wind up getting resolved.