What To Expect From The Mediation Process

"The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them," wrote author and conflict resolution expert Tom Crum.

Mediation and other alternative dispute resolution systems give you the chance to respond to conflicts in a productive manner, seeking an outcome that will be mutually beneficial and long-lasting.

At Sena Family Law & Mediation Practice, we are proud to guide clients through the California mediation process. Cheryl A. Sena is a certified family law specialist and a trained mediator who brings more than 30 years of legal experience to each and every case. She is available to represent individuals and families in San Francisco, as well as throughout the five surrounding counties.

Following are a few important points to understand about the mediation process:

  • Ms. Sena can serve as your consulting attorney or the neutral mediator. However, she can't perform both roles. You will have the opportunity to sit down with her and decide whether you want her to assist you as you talk with the mediator, or if you want her to be the neutral third party who facilitates the discussion.
  • The mediator doesn't make the decisions. Unlike a judge, a mediator doesn't have the final say about what happens. Instead, you and your spouse or co-parent will be the ones who retain control over the outcome.
  • You can enlist the aid of other experts. If children are involved, it's often wise to retain a child psychologist who can delve into the unique developmental and psychological needs of your children. If complex assets are involved, you may want to hire a forensic accountant or financial planner to help characterize assets, trace income and plan out a budget.
  • The time it takes depends on the issues involved. In most cases, you can expect to meet with Ms. Sena for two hours at a time. The number of sessions you require will depend on the complexity of your situation and how quickly you can come to a resolution with the other party.
  • If mediation doesn't work, you can proceed to litigation. This is different than collaborative law, which begins with an agreement that neither party will take the case to a judge for a decision on any issue.

To request a free initial consultation with lawyer Cheryl A. Sena, call 415-906-2556. You can also reach our San Francisco office by email.

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