Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Divorce does not have to involve litigation. At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, we provide divorce mediation services to clients throughout the South Bay, the Silicon Valley and northern California. Michael E. Lonich facilitates all family law mediations handled by the firm, and he is widely regarded as one of Silicon Valley’s most effective mediators.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a collaborative process that provides more control to people going through a divorce. By contrast, divorce litigation is an adversarial process that typically results in a judge making important decisions that impact families.

Instead of letting one’s lawyer negotiate for them or letting a judge make a decision, mediation offers people in conflict a way to work together to make decisions that resolve their dispute. While it is not necessary for people to agree on all issues for divorce mediation to be successful, it is vital that people are willing to work together to find solutions to contentious issues. The mediator’s role is both active and interactive; working together with the parties to resolve their dispute by discovering collectively what lies at the heart of their dispute.

A couple consults with an attorney about their options for divorce mediation.

Why Divorce Mediation?

This approach to conflict is based on a simple premise: the people ultimately in the best position to determine the wisest solution to a dispute are those who created and are living with the problem. Although they will likely need support to help them find a productive and constructive way to work together, to understand their conflict and the possibilities for resolving it; they hold the key to reaching a resolution that best serves them both.

Michael Lonich works closely with parties to help them shape the decisions that will be drafted into the marital settlement agreement. In addition to handling divorce mediations, he has extensive experience in handling business law litigation. He draws on his business background when mediating divorce matters for business owners, executives, foreign nationals and their spouses.
When opting for divorce mediation, we always recommend that people hire a lawyer to review the final documents. Hiring a lawyer to review mediation documents is not antithetical to the mediation process; it can be an important step in making sure your personal interests are protected.

divorced couple comes to an agreement in their collaborative divorce

When Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work

While divorce mediation works in many situations, it is not always appropriate. Litigation is often the best option in situations where there is domestic violence, one party refuses to cooperate in making required disclosures, or communication between the parties is impossible.