Pasadena Mediation Attorney
Child custody battles can take a significant emotional toll on parents and children alike. When parents cannot agree on one or more issues involving custody, it is considered “contested.” Contested child custody then falls to the court to decide.
It is crucial that you have an experienced Pasadena mediation attorney by your side. At the Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc, our dedicated legal team is extensively knowledgeable in complex litigation. Our compassionate attorneys will help protect the best interests and you and your children. To schedule your initial consultation today, click here or call (626) 460-9525.
What Happens in Child Custody Mediation in Pasadena?
Under the law, mediation is required when custody or visitation of a minor is contested. Mediation must occur prior to or at the same time as your hearing. Mediation is a complicated process that will likely last a long time. How long the mediation lasts is up to the court. If the mediation cannot produce a fair child custody agreement, the next step is to present your case to the judge. Your mediation attorney will provide the court with a report on your mediation detailing recommendations.
The trial court may have substantial discretion in determining whether the facts and circumstances allow an order for more mediation. If not, the judge will evaluate each spouse’s case, the mediator’s report, and relevant testimony to determine what child custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests.
What is the Purpose of Child Custody Mediation?
Child custody mediation allows parents or guardians to resolve their disputes. The divorce process is mentally taxing. When emotions are high, it is not easy to come to an agreeable compromise. Having a mediator present to guide the discussion with objectivity is important to creating a new family norm.
Children need stability. In cases where child custody becomes a tumultuous matter, children can be significantly affected. According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, children of contested custody disputes experience greater separation anxiety.
Mediation in contested child custody cases has numerous purposes, including:
- The reduction of bitterness between the parties.
- To come to an agreement that ensures the minor’s continuing contact and visitation with both parents, in the child’s best interest.
- Other considerations are the child’s health, safety, and welfare.
- History of abuse by one parent against certain people.
- Use of alcohol or substances.
Who Can Be a Mediator in Child Custody Disputes?
The mediator can be a part of the family conciliation court’s professional staff, probation department, or mental health services agency. A mediator will need to meet certain educational requirements in behavioral science regarding marriage and family, and experience in counseling and/or psychotherapy. Courts regulate the change of mediators at a local level.
What Power Does a Mediator Have?
The California Family Code mandates that mediation proceedings be confidential, whether written or verbal. However, a local court may permit a mediator’s testimony. That being said, every family law attorney should request the psychological evaluation of a child or make recommendations pertaining to custody/visitation be placed in the court’s confidential file.
Mediators have the authority to exclude attorneys from participating in a mediation proceeding, However, they meet with the lawyers before and after sessions. That is why attorneys are incredibly important during the mediation step in the process.
Mediators have the ability to interview the child subject of a proceeding. Furthermore, mediators must meet with parties separately if one party is alleging domestic violence in a written declaration under penalty of perjury or protected by an order requesting separate meetings. In the case where there is a protective order, a support person must be allowed to accompany the protected party during orientation or mediation sessions. However, this support person may be excluded by the mediator if the support person participates, advocates, or disrupts the session.
Depending on the local rules, a mediator makes a recommendation to the court in regards to custody or visitation. A mediator may only make a recommendation to the court if both parties are given the right to examine him or her at a hearing on the recommendation, which yet again, makes the attorney a crucial component of the mediation process. Furthermore, unless the parties agree, a mediator cannot communicate to the court without the parties present, unless the mediator determines it’s for a restraining order to prevent imminent risk to the physical safety of a child or a party.
Mediators are also empowered with making recommendations pertaining to an investigation or services offered to resolve the issue before the hearing if the parties still have not reached an agreement. This is why it is so crucial to have an attorney who will aggressively advocate on behalf of a client for a resolution where one can be found between the parties before other steps are taken by the court or mediator that could hinder a party’s visitation or custody rights.
The Benefits of Working With a Pasadena Mediation Attorney
Although participating in the mediation process is required in California before a judge will make decisions regarding custody, it’s important to understand that mediation can yield significant benefits for all involved. They include the following:
- Faster resolution of disputes: Mediation can often help parents resolve disputes more quickly than traditional litigation, as the process is typically shorter and less formal than a court case.
- Greater control over the outcome: In mediation, the parents have the opportunity to craft their own solution rather than having a judge decide the outcome. This can give parents greater control over the terms of their custody and visitation agreement and can lead to more satisfactory results. If the judge is permitted to make these important decisions, there’s a chance the outcome won’t thoroughly satisfy anyone, including your children.
- Reduced conflict: Mediation can help parents communicate more effectively and find common ground, which can reduce the level of conflict between them. This can be especially beneficial for the children, as it can help create a more positive and peaceful co-parenting relationship. Additionally, it may allow two spouses who are getting a divorce to preserve a friendly relationship with one another. This can yield greater overall participation in the years to come as you and your ex occasionally work together to address issues regarding your children which may arise.
- Increased flexibility: Mediation can provide more flexibility in terms of the types of custody and visitation arrangements that are possible, as the parties are free to come up with creative solutions that meet their needs and the needs of the child. Additionally, although a mediator’s job is to understand the desires of all parties and strive towards an agreement that satisfies everyone while serving a child’s best interests, a mediator might also be able to suggest potential solutions that hadn’t occurred to you or your spouse.
- Cost savings: Mediation can often be less expensive than traditional litigation, as it does not involve the same level of legal fees and court costs. Also, once more, mediation can speed up the process of addressing these issues. The less time it takes to come to a child custody agreement, the less money you might ultimately end up spending.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute in California and are considering mediation as a way to resolve your disputes, it is important to seek the help of a qualified Pasadena mediation attorney who can facilitate the process and help you reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Hiring the right experts is key to taking full advantage of the benefits mediation can offer.
Why Choose Baghdaserians Law Group
The Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc has successfully helped Pasadena residents with complex family law matters for several years. The firm principal, Attorney Patrick Baghdaserians, is a Certified Family Law Specialist.
Patrick Baghdaserians has participated in over 100 family law mediations, serving as both an attorney representing a party, and as a mediator himself. For the past 6 years, he has also been a Pasadena family law courthouse volunteer mediator. He brings a wealth of experience from numerous perspectives in the mediation process when advocating and guiding his clients through this arena.
Contact a Pasadena Mediation Attorney Today
If you and your former spouse currently have difficulties settling on a child custody agreement, contact the Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc today. Our highly sought legal team understands the significant impact child custody proceedings can have on parents and children.
A Pasadena mediation attorney can help guide you and your former spouse to a fair resolution. With the best interests of your children in mind, we can help you prepare for mediation discussions, use honest, direct communication, and keep negotiations focused on the issues at hand.
In many cases, mediation helps families avoid longer and more expensive proceedings. When you need a reasonable child custody solution without sacrificing your rights along the way, call the Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc. Contact our exceptional team of litigators today and schedule your initial consultation by clicking here or calling (626) 460-9525.