Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that provides an alternative to the traditional process of litigation. In mediation, a neutral third party assists both sides in reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution. Unlike litigation, which by its nature pits one side against another, and which necessitates that someone wins and someone loses, mediation gives the parties an opportunity to find areas of common ground and to come to an agreement in a way that is least harmful and meets the entire family's needs.
Mediation is for those who want to be able to resolve their disputes and still be able to attend their children's life cycle or other events in the presence of their former partner without feeling uncomfortable. It is also for those who do not want to spend their life's savings on lawyers. Mediation allows the parties to stay in control of their divorce process rather than turn it over to a stranger (a judge) to make decisions about their lives, finances, and children for them. We help clients to resolve their differences fairly, openly, and creatively.
We make the process of resolving disputes easier than traditional litigation. Our goal is to bring out the best in each party and create the best result for your family. The first step is to help gather all the information so you have the knowledge necessary to make decisions. Then, we help you reach your own solutions. Diane loves the out-of- the-box solutions her clients create and will facilitate same as long as they are not illegal, fraudulent, or unfair to one side. We aim to empower each participant in the mediation to make decisions that work for their family.
In mediation, the clients are always in control of their situation and outcome. Diane believes that there is no one style of mediation that works best for each family. Mediation can be transformative, evaluative, facilitative, or narrative. Diane is trained in all of these styles and knows that there is no "best" style. Therefore, her style combines all of these and provides what works best for each family.
Know that Diane's commitment to clients is that you will be treated fairly, that your opinions, thoughts, and feelings will be heard and acknowledged, and that you will be treated with dignity and respect.
Mediation is almost always a less expensive and less explosive way to reach a settlement, particularly in family law, especially where children are concerned.
We offer mediation services for the entire spectrum of family law matters, including:
- Dissolutions and divorces
- Legal separations
- Division of assets and debts
- Child custody, both legal and physical
- Child support
- Cohabitation and Prenuptial Agreements
- Adoption related disputes
- Assisted Reproduction Disputes
Collaborative Law is another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. In Collaborative Law, each side hires a collaboratively trained attorney who agrees to help the parties resolve this matter out of court. Then, the parties meet with both attorneys together to problem solve the issues identified by the parties. When necessary, therapists and financial consultants attend the meeting to help the parties gain information and reach a settlement that meets everyone's needs. The parties and attorneys agree not to use the court to resolve issues and to continue to meet until a settlement is reached. Like mediation, the parties remain in control of the outcome until a resolution is reached. Like mediation, anything said during collaborative sessions is confidential and cannot later be used in court.
If you elect to proceed with collaborative law, Diane will represent you and provide advocacy for you. At the same time, Diane will work with your spouse's attorney, out of court, to reach a settlement that meets everyone's needs.
Click here to read an article from the Los Angeles Daily Journal on Diane Goodman's mediation practice.
Click here to read Diane Goodman's article on working with different personality types in mediation.