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San Diego County Family Mediation Attorneys

Mediation is either a formal or informal process by which the parties attempt to voluntarily resolve their family law disputes. The parties can elect to mediate either with or without legal representation. The parties can hire a family law attorney who is skilled in conducting mediation or a retired judge who performs mediation services.

In order to be meaningful, each party needs to have a reasonable understanding of all the issues and underlying facts prior to the time of mediation. In anything other than the simplest cases, substantial preparation is required prior to mediation. Frequently, a formal brief is presented to the mediator in advance so that he or she can be fully prepared on all issues.

Experienced Guidance for the Mediation Process

At the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC we encourage the mediation process. Normally, we feel we can better protect the client’s interests if each side is represented by counsel at the time of mediation. As an alternative, we are willing to consult with the client to assist in preparation for mediation and give advice before agreements are reached.

We recommend a number of retired judicial offices to our clients to act as mediator. It has been our experience that a retired family law judge has the knowledge and the demeanor to handle even the most contentious and/or difficult mediations. In essence, a recommendation from a retired family law judge is likely to have more impact on the parties and counsel.

If an agreement is reached, our goal is to have a signed agreement generated prior to the conclusion of mediation. Once an agreement is signed by all parties and counsel (even if handwritten), it is enforceable. The Court can enter a judgment incorporating the terms of the agreement, upon motion of either party.

At the Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC we take pride in using mediation in an effort to avoid litigation and effectuate a settlement at the earliest reasonable opportunity. In addition to representing clients in the mediation process, our firm offers attorneys to act as neutral mediators.

An Overview of the Mandatory Settlement Conference

In San Diego County, if the parties have not reached a voluntary settlement and a trial date is requested, normally the Court will scheduled a Mandatory Settlement Conference before proceeding to a formal trial. Similar to mediation, a brief would be prepared setting forth the client’s position on all disputed issues and providing the evidence supporting such positions.

San Diego County is unique in that a large number of experienced family law attorneys volunteer their time to act as settlement judges for these Mandatory Settlement Conferences. Several of the attorneys in our firm volunteer in this capacity on a regular basis. It is essential that counsel for both parties be well prepared at the Mandatory Settlement Conference. In the event that the case does not settle, counsel will appear immediately thereafter to have a trial date set by the Court.

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