FAQ ‘s: I have compiled a list of questions that people often ask me. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you don’t know something, ask! I update this list frequently, so if you have a question, please submit it here. I guarantee someone out there has the same question. Remember, any information on my website or blog in NO WAY should be construed as legal advice.
In addition, you may find information on my frequently updated BLOG helpful.
Mediation - Top 10 Questions
My husband is being difficult and refuses to mediate. He already hired a lawyer. I want to hire you to mediate for me.
This is a tough situation to be in. If the other side has hired a lawyer, there is an imbalance of power. In this situation, you can still mediate if he agrees. But here is how this would work: Kelly would be a neutral mediator. Your husband/wife would have a lawyer. And you would represent yourself.
Thus, in this situation where your husband/wife has already hired a lawyer, we recommend that you also hire a lawyer. The case can still settle, but Kelly would not be a mediator in your case. You can hire Kelly to be your attorney – the first step is to book a legal consultation.
A typical case takes about 10-15 hours of my time. In the majority of our cases, the parties are able to complete the process in 1-2 months.
California law imposes a 6-month statutory period which runs from the time the Response is filed, or when the Respondent has been served. However, you don’t need to wait to finalize your issues. A Judgment can be entered on your case with a future date of divorce, and you just wait.
Once you have confirmed your mediation session with a 50% deposit, Kelly will send a detailed email explaining Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures. In California, prior to entry of Judgment, the law requires both of you to exchange complete financial information on forms such as the Income and Expense Declaration and Schedule of Assets and Debts. Kelly will email you the forms and explain how to prepare a draft for your upcoming mediation. The Disclosures will be finalized and exchanged during your session with her.
Our mediation sessions last 3 hours and cost $2,500, broken down as follows: $500 per hour for a 3-hour mediation session plus 2 hours for administrative work performed in between sessions, such as finalizing Preliminary Declarations of Disclosures, preparing mediation summaries and agendas, etc.
If you reach an agreement in mediation, we prepare your paperwork. Document preparation is a separate charge, listed below.
Depending on the issues you have, it may take 1-2 sessions, or over 10 sessions to complete.
Absolutely. If you already have an agreement, or you reach an agreement in mediation, you can hire us to prepare your divorce paperwork to be filed with the Court. We charge a flat fee of $2,500 for processing an uncontested divorce without children; and $3,500 for an uncontested divorce with children. There is a court filing fee of $435 per person (paid to the Court) and a processing fee of $300 (for messenger fees, copy, postage and process server fees), so the grand total is $3,670 divorce (no kids) and $4,670 (divorce with kids).
Please note that our office processes uncontested divorces, where both parties file a first appearance. We do not process default divorces, where only one party files a first appearance.
I provide you both information and guidance based on my knowledge and experience as a family law litigator for 20 years.
Kelly started offering mediation services in 2016. Since then, our mediation cases have increased every year. Currently, our firm handles approximately 20-30 mediations a year, and resolved all but 1 case.
Kelly will try her best to help settle your case! If, however, there are issues of domestic violence, or non-disclosure of hidden assets, or there is a power imbalance which prevent the case from settling, the case may not settle at mediation. If the case does not settle, Kelly will not be able to represent either of you in Court. We will refer you to trustworthy attorneys who will not over-litigate your case and ruin your life.