LAW OFFICE OF Rebecca Hughes Tran 408/975-9500 
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Mediation is a more private and generally less expensive approach to dissolution (divorce). It allows parties to resolve the divorce, or certain issues relating to the marriage, in a non-adversarial setting. The parties meet in the firm's San Jose office, rather than appearing in court.

A mediator is a lawyer hired by both parties to help them understand and resolve legal and factual issues relating to the divorce. The mediator is not the lawyer for either party. When hired as a mediator, Rebecca educates both parties about the law and explains the legal procedures which must be followed for a divorce to occur in California. Rebecca also prepares those forms necessary to begin the divorce process and for final judgment of dissolution.

When a settlement is reached on any or all issues, Rebecca will prepare a written agreement which sets out all of the terms of the agreement for the parties' signature.

How does a “divorce mediation” work? In the first meeting, Rebecca will meet with both clients to discuss the case and explain the divorce mediation process. By the end of the first meeting, clients can expect that they will have an overview of the mediation process, will have completed the Petition and Response (the initial documents that must be filed and served), and will have the preliminary financial disclosure forms to take home and complete. Rebecca will explain each step of the mediation process and ensure that both parties understand each step and understand the law. During the first meeting, Rebecca will find out what areas of agreement exist, if any.

Before the second mediation meeting, Rebecca will have the petition and response filed and served. If agreements on certain smaller issues need to be reached immediately, Rebecca will prepare temporary written agreements for signature by the parties and the court.

By the second mediation meeting, areas such as child or spousal support, property division and custody will be discussed. As a mediator, Rebecca will explain the law as it relates to the issues in the case. The number of meetings needed depend on the complexity of the case. Sometimes, a mediation case can be completed with only two or three in-person meetings. More often, however, several meetings are needed before a divorce mediation case is complete. Mediation clients can also meet with Rebecca via telephone conference call, if necessary. But in-person meetings are preferred.

Mediation proceedings are confidential. The parties sign a confidentiality agreement stating that all communications with the lawyer - mediator are privileged and are not admissible in court. This means, for instance, that settlement offers made in divorce mediation cannot be brought up in court if mediation fails and the case goes to trial. This allows both parties freedom to negotiate without risk that what they discuss will be used against them in trial. If mediation results in a written settlement agreement, however, that agreement will be filed in court and is not confidential.
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Copyright © 2018, The Office of Rebecca Hughes Tran - The Garden Alameda, 1570 The Alameda, Suite 212, San Jose, CA 95126 - 408/975-9500
The firm serves all of Santa Clara County, including Palo Alto, Los Altos, San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Santa Clara, Campbell, Milpitas, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Cupertino and Sunnyvale. It provides divorce mediation services as well as representation.