Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation

Based in San Francisco, Sena Family Law & Mediation Practice cares about addressing your concerns and helping you find resolutions that truly work for you and your family. Attorney Cheryl A. Sena is a highly trained mediator with more than three decades of legal experience.

Following are a few common questions and answers related to mediation in California:

What is mediation?

Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution system that allows couples to end their marriages with a minimum of stress and contention. Both parties meet jointly with a mediator to discuss concerns, such as child custody, spousal support and property division.

Learn about the benefits of mediation versus litigation.

How much does mediation cost?

The cost of mediation is under your control. If you can reach an agreement quickly, it costs much less. The fees depend on how long it takes to reach an agreement. That's the art. In many cases, the cost of mediating a divorce or other family law matter is far less than litigation.

What does mediation involve?

The mediating parties and mediator agree to the issues that need to be settled and identify an agenda for doing so. The parties will agree on who will seek out information, if needed. Discussion will center around the best interests, needs and goals of each person, including any children. When an agreement is reached, paperwork is completed to reflect the decisions made.

Learn more about the mediation process.

How long does mediation take?

The time spent in a mediation session varies from couple to couple. Most often, it involves either three or four two-hour mediation sessions or one session that lasts anywhere from two hours to a full day. Couples who seek to understand each other and remain flexible are able to resolve their concerns much faster than those who simply want to be proven "right."

Read a few tips for making the process as quick and easy as possible.

What if we don't agree on some issues?

Mediation does not force you to agree on every issue in order to have a productive outcome. Successful mediation may involve settling most of the issues with only one or a few left to handle in court. Even in situations where lingering issues remain, you may be able to save money on legal fees by using mediation first. The process of going through mediation also prepares both parties better for court, if that is the eventual outcome.

For answers to questions related to your particular situation, call our lawyer at 415-906-2556, or contact us via email to arrange a free consultation.