Granite Bay Divorce Attorney

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Your Granite Bay Divorce Attorney

When most people marry in Granite Bay, they envision a lifetime of happiness together. Unfortunately, many things can happen between a couple and to a family that can make this goal a difficult one to attain. In the end, many couples decide to end the marriage. Working with a divorce attorney from the very start of the process ensures that your rights and privileges receive the attention and respect they deserve.

At McCunn Law, we put families first and advocate whenever we can for amicable solutions. However, if your spouse refuses to cooperate, we are also fully equipped to take a more adversarial approach to divorce to help protect your financial and familial interests.

A California Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust Call (916) 773-6100

Approaches to Divorce

We offer various services at our firm which we can tailor to your unique needs. Whether you want to go it alone with limited help from our firm or want to take an aggressive litigation approach, family law attorney Drummond T. McCunn can help.

We offer our clients three different approaches to their divorce processes. This allows you to choose the option that suits your needs, budgets, and personal preferences.

Represented or Adversarial Divorce

If you and your partner may have some issues which cannot be resolved without court intervention, you can select a “represented” divorce. Serious issues, such as mental health, domestic violence, abuse, or hiding finances, may not be readily resolved through direct negotiations.

In this case, you should select an “aggressive” or “adversarial” divorce. Individuals in this type of situation should contact us immediately. We will set your matter before a judge as soon as circumstances require to protect you, your children, and your finances.

We prefer to treat this as a last-resort option for Granite Bay couples, especially when there are children involved. The back-and-forth in court and the exposure of incidents within the marriage can become stressful for both the parents and the children. This can create rifts in the family that no child custody order or spousal support payment can heal.

Unfortunately, there are also times when this is the only way forward. Sometimes, one or both spouses may feel unwilling to cooperate, or the divorce might involve unique or even controversial circumstances, such as sexual assault, parental neglect, or substance abuse. If you believe this is the route you will need to take for your divorce, it is important to contact our firm as soon as possible.

Divorce Mediation

Some couples may not at first agree on divorce arrangements together but feel they can come to an agreement with the intervention of professionals. A collaborative or mediated divorce involves hiring anywhere from one to three attorneys to keep things neutral and peaceful. Despite the potential for heavy involvement of attorneys, this is typically a much more cost-effective option than going to court. It also tends to take less time.

If you and your spouse could come to an agreement through peaceful intervention, you should consider our divorce mediation or collaborative services. In this case, we will work directly with your partner and or their attorney to try to resolve issues peacefully. However, we will reserve the right to seek a decision from the judge if negotiations fail.

Unfortunately, sometimes couples believe they can resolve differences through mediation, but things spiral out of control. One spouse may feel particularly resentful or can become difficult to negotiate with. Because of this, whenever we work with couples going through the mediation process, we also reserve the right to move on to the adversarial divorce process, if necessary.

DIY Divorce

If you and your spouse have already come to an agreement, you may resolve your dispute quickly through a “do it yourself” approach. In this case, the trained professionals at our firm can save you time and money by quickly and accurately providing you with the correct paperwork and process to conclude your matter with your county’s court system.

This is the ideal form of divorce that most people hope for. The couple has a civil discussion about divorce, makes arrangements that both parties can live with, and then moves forward. If this is your position, then we are happy to provide you with the necessary paperwork and instructions so you can complete the process on your own.

As a note of caution, however, dependent spouses should be wary of going through a do-it-yourself divorce without hiring a professional to review the paperwork. The breadwinner may hide assets and offer child support and spousal support amounts that are far less than what you and your children deserve. If you have concerns, we can review financial documents and records to ensure your DIY divorce progresses smoothly and fairly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone has questions during a divorce. You are likely to stumble across issues that could benefit from a second pair of eyes or a second opinion. Every divorce is different, so we can only provide general answers to questions here. For more specific answers that take into consideration your unique circumstances, reach out to our McCunn Law attorney today.

1. What do I do if my spouse is hiding assets?

When spouses suspect that a divorce is underway or decide they want one, they often begin by gathering all the necessary financial and legal paperwork. Some people may even do a bit of prying, such as checking already opened mail left in the study, reviewing bank statements, requesting tax returns from the IRS, and reading emails after a spouse forgets to log out.

Thanks to this or other clues, you may come to suspect your spouse has not disclosed his or her full assets and income. If you have proof, it is much easier to move things along favorably. In cases with no proof and where the other spouse refuses to cooperate, talk with your McCunn Law attorney about seeking court orders or pursuing formal discovery.

2. Will I need to share my retirement account?

California is a community property state, so it treats almost all assets acquired in the marriage as marital property that belongs to both parties. There are very few exceptions, and retirement accounts are generally not one of them. Subsequently, if a spouse asks for a portion of the retirement account, they could very well become entitled to half.

That said, California does not necessarily require you to split each shared asset in half. It is more concerned with the sharing of the total value of the assets. Because of this, you may be able to persuade your spouse to accept something else in place of this account, such as the family house, cash payments, shares of profit in a business, investment property, or stocks.

3. Is it necessary to change my name back?

When Granite Bay couples marry, one or both parties tend to change their names to create a single-family surname. In most cases, women make the change, but in same-sex couples and feminist households, men may also opt to make the change. After a divorce, couples have the option to reclaim the names they held previously.  However, the keyword here is “option.” Many divorcees prefer to keep the last names. Here are a few reasons some do so:

  • The name-change process can be costly and lengthy, especially for immigrants and people with multiple citizenship who may need to change documentation in two or more countries.
  • Individuals may have earned a degree or published work under their married name.
  • A person may have become accustomed to the surname after years of marriage and wishes to retain it.

If you do decide to change your name back, you can do so as soon as you get a final judgment from the court. The process generally starts with applying for a new SSN and a new driver’s license.

Granite Bay Divorce Attorney With a Unique Approach

At McCunn Law, we have over 40 years of experience working on family law cases in Granite Bay, California. In each case, we focus on the client. We protect families by offering a personal approach and using straight talk to ensure they understand their options in a divorce.

We know this is a stressful time in your life, so we approach your case with compassion and unique solutions. Our practical approach allows us to help you in the best way possible, making the experience less strenuous. Our attorney, Drummond T. McCunn, is a peacemaker who will handle your case with honesty and a pragmatic attitude

It is our goal to work with you and empower you to make your own decisions. We are here in whatever capacity you need us to be to lead you through your case to a conclusion that is fair.

You don’t have to take our word for it: We are transparent in the way we assist clients, so discover more about us and contact us if you feel we are a good fit to help you through your divorce.

A Unique Approach Puts You in Control

The McCunn Law approach to divorce is holistic, meaning that we consider every aspect of your situation, including your emotions, opinions, and needs. Instead of focusing solely on the case and pushing it through the Granite Bay court, we empower you to tell us what you want to happen.

We also organize our approach in a way that makes an easy-to-follow plan. This can help reduce stress and enable you to make strong decisions because you know exactly what to expect.

In addition, we let you shape your representation so you only pay for what you need and get only the services that will best help you. We have steps that we take with every case to ensure this happens.

Our Process

We start by talking with you about your situation. We want to find out your goals and where you want things to end. Then, we will propose some ideas on how to achieve the results, and map out possible outcomes so that you can see how we can get from here to there.

You will weigh in as we discuss the pros and cons of our options. We’ll reach a strategy together that will accomplish your goals in the way that you want.

After that, we create a plan, set a budget, and formulate a timeline. This gives you all the details you need to know about how things will proceed and what to expect. At this time, we can discuss lingering concerns and make adjustments.

Once we have a solid plan in place, we will then start gathering the information we need to build your case. You will supply us with information about your marriage, spouse, assets, income, and expenses.

The next step is to put the plan in place. Throughout the process, we will ensure you stay updated on developments and everything that is happening.

By the end, we’ll help you reach the goals you identified when we first met. Remember, we will remain right here for you if you have any further needs.

Our unique approach makes us stand out from the typical attorney that takes charge and expects you to follow along. We know this is already a situation where you feel off-balance and out of control. We don’t want to add to that, which is why we put every decision in your hands. When you work with our lawyer, you are in control the whole time.

Our Five-Step Process for a California Divorce Can Help You Achieve a More Favorable Outcome

Ending a relationship is never easy. You need a divorce attorney who understands each family has a unique set of circumstances and a law firm that provides the best solution for the stability and safety of you, your children, and your finances. Depending on the level of conflict with your partner, you have several options to resolve your matter at our Granite Bay, CA, firm. We can help you with a “Do It Yourself” divorce, alternate dispute resolution such as mediated or collaborative divorce, or represent you in court.

At McCunn Law, we separate our approach into five steps. These steps act as smaller milestones in the divorce process. Our clients often express that these milestones gave them reference points that allowed them to track how close they were to wrapping things up.

As we implement the plan we created together, we want you to be clear on how things will proceed. To make the process less confusing and more straightforward, we break it down into five steps:

Step One: File Your Case

Opening your case with the California Courts is the first big step you’ll take. This is even bigger than telling your spouse that you are ready to end the marriage, as you have essentially now put the state on notice. Either spouse has the right to file the proper documents with the Granite Bay court.

You File First

It is important that you file the correct paperwork with the correct California court. We will assist you with making sure you have everything you need and that the documents get to the right place.

Filling out the forms requires care as the information you supply in these papers will impact your divorce. You will need to explain the reason for your request to end your marriage and give details about yourself, your spouse, and the relationship. Our job is to ensure you fully complete the documents to provide a solid foundation for your divorce.

The process involves making sure you get copies of the documents to the required places. Not only do you have to file your petition at the court in Granite Bay, but also you must serve your spouse with a copy.

Serving papers is sometimes a difficult task because you may not know how to find your spouse, your spouse may be in the military or may decide to avoid the person serving the documents in an attempt to delay the divorce. In any case, you cannot serve the petition yourself; you will need help with this part of the process.

We have experience with serving papers and know the most effective ways to get it done. Our lawyer can ensure that there is no time wasted on service and help keep your case moving along.

Your spouse will have 30 days in which to reply to the divorce summons. However, be aware that California will grant a divorce if only one spouse requests it. Your spouse does not have to agree to end your marriage. His or her response to the summons is only for making his or her wishes clear about the details of your petition.

Do note that California law does require a six-month waiting period from the time you file and serve the papers to the time the judge finalizes your divorce.

Your Spouse Files First

If your spouse files for divorce, then you have the responsibility to receive the summons and respond. When you receive the petition, it is essential that you make sure you understand everything in it. We can read over the paperwork for you and explain anything that is not clear. Our attorney can also help you understand your rights and what your next move should be.

We will also help you decide on your reply to the summons. It is important that you file your response within the given time limit, which is 30 days. Our lawyer will ensure you get your answer back to the court in time and within the guidelines.

If you fail to respond, the court will issue a default judgment in your case, which will give your spouse everything they asked for in the petition. To have a chance to negotiate and reach a settlement, you need to respond.

Step Two: Produce Your Disclosures

California law requires that within 60 days of filing your divorce petition, you must file a list of all your financial interests. The disclosure forms will include the following information:

  • What you own (assets)
  • What you owe (debts)
  • Income
  • Expenses

These forms and the information can help with property division and support determinations in your case. You must serve these disclosures through a formal service, which means someone other than you must deliver them to your spouse. Delivery service is something we handle for you to avoid any hassles and ensure it occurs within the time limit.

You must confirm everything in the disclosures is accurate and complete. Leaving out information, even if by mistake, can stall your divorce. The court may not issue a final order or could reopen your case after the final judgment if it discovers any information in the disclosure was not truthful or complete.

Our job is to make sure your financial disclosures contain all the necessary information. We will work with you to go over your finances, assets, debts, and other details of your financial situation to avoid omissions. We understand it can be difficult to fill out this type of form, so if we discover something new after we file your papers, we will handle correcting it with the court.

Most law firms have the skills necessary to create a basic financial disclosure, but they may steer clear of more complex finances that require advice. Our divorce lawyer and the rest of our team stand ready to conduct a thorough review of your finances to ensure you provide a fair and accurate disclosure for the divorce. In most cases, we charge just $2,000 for this service.

Step Three: Agree on Temporary Orders

Some law firms skip over this process, only to have your spouse decide to turn your six-month divorce into a years-long battle. This can leave you and your family exposed, with no agreements in place for child support, child custody, and visitation. We ensure we cover all these bases and then some.

During your divorce, you and your spouse will each have equal rights to the children and family finances unless you obtain temporary orders from the court. We will assist you with filing temporary requests for child support, visitation, custody, property distribution, spousal support, and payment of legal fees.

You can ask us to help you with temporary orders anytime after you or your spouse files the petition. These orders give you a chance to ask for things you need or to handle situations of concern before the finalization of your case. If you or your children suffered domestic abuse, our divorce lawyer can also push for a protective order.

Asking for an order is a straightforward process that our lawyer is familiar with and can easily do upon request. Generally, we will only have to file forms for you, but you may have to attend a hearing or mediation, especially if you ask for temporary child custody orders.

If your situation involves domestic violence or abuse, then we also will help you secure a protection order through the proper California court. You can get such an order if your spouse has physically abused you or threatened physical harm.

Your spouse will get a copy of all forms, but the Granite Bay court will keep your address confidential if needed. We will make sure to protect you by using the court’s Safe at Home program, which ensures your address does not appear on these documents.

The court will typically approve the order, but if it does not or if there is another issue, we will continue to work hard for you to secure the order. We will go before the judge and plead your case. Throughout the process, we offer you comfort and security in any way we can. It is our job to get you the legal protection you deserve.

Step Four: Seek Final Judgment

Sometimes, couples come to a final agreement during the mediation process. However, when this does not work, then the case may go to court. The court hears both sides and can even consider input from the children and other people who are familiar with both spouses. It then makes a decision regarding arrangements for post-divorce life for the couple. Note that any new court orders that come from this then replace the temporary orders previously in place.

Most divorces in Granite Bay settle out of court, which means the couple comes to an agreement on all matters without the court intervening. We will be by your side to help you with negotiations with your spouse as needed.

To finalize your agreement, you will need to cover important topics:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Visitation schedule

Step Five: Implement Judgments

Whether you reach an agreement or need the court to make rulings in your case, the last stage of any divorce is the final judgment. At this time, the judge will divide property, explain the parenting plan, and handle any support payments. This order by a California court is your final decree. You must follow it, so we will help you as you work to abide.

Ideally, this is as simple as setting up payment plans and deciding on a good time and place for dropping off the children with the other parent. In more complex cases, such as those involving protective orders, both parties may need further assistance on how to arrange for support orders. If one ex becomes contentious, disagrees with the final judgment, or refuses to follow through, we can also assist.

By breaking down the process into five manageable stages, we can provide budgets specific to each step. We specifically focus on the 60-day disclosures, allowing our team to forecast a financial plan and the outcome of your case. When completed properly, these disclosures can maximize the amount of the estate you retain and minimize your attorney costs.

Our family lawyer and the rest of the team are ready to review your case, produce a financial disclosure, and offer advice, no matter how complex it is or how aggressive your spouse has become. While we much prefer when couples seek amicable solutions, we are not afraid to go to court and fight for your rights and that of your children. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request a review of your case.

Contact a Granite Bay Attorney

Our family lawyer and the rest of the team are ready to review your case, produce a financial disclosure, and offer advice, no matter how complex it is or how aggressive your spouse has become. While we much prefer when couples seek amicable solutions, we are not afraid to go to court and fight for your rights and that of your children. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request a review of your case.

Your Granite Bay Divorce Mediation Lawyer

When it comes to a California divorce, contested divorces generate the most emotions and the highest attorney fees. The more a couple argues back and forth or delays resolution, the more likely conflict escalates, communication ceases, and attorneys are retained.  The combination of low communication and high conflict leaves the deepest financial and emotional wounds.

Ending a relationship is never easy. You need an attorney who understands each family has a unique set of circumstances and a law firm that provides the best solution for the stability and safety of you, your children, and your finances.

At McCunn Law, we prefer to focus on the solution, not the conflict.  We identify the issues and then focus on the process of finding the right solutions.  We make sure each person is heard and educated, so they can give informed consent to any agreements.  Clients who pursue this approach have the greatest chance to move forward from their divorce with less emotional hurt and less financial expense, protecting the family structure and preserving civil relationships. This is especially important when there are children or other complexities of a sensitive nature involved.

There are several new approaches for friendly and peaceful resolution of your family matter: “Do it Yourself” with Attorney Assistance, “Mediated Divorce,” and “Collaborative Divorce.” We can help you select the best approach by determining the amount of support you and your partner will need to resolve your dispute.

Divorce is a tough time for any family, but letting emotions, especially anger, sweep you up can make things even more difficult. One of the ways to keep things calm in your divorce is to consider mediation.

This alternative dispute resolution option allows you and your spouse to work together to reach decisions. McCunn Law can make the process move more quickly, while allowing you to remain in control.

With help from a divorce mediation lawyer from McCunn Law, you can use ADR to reach an agreeable settlement without having to fight it out in a Granite Bay, CA, courtroom.

Mediation Expectations

Mediation will require that you and your spouse work together. You will usually attend multiple sessions to discuss each aspect of your divorce settlement. In most cases, a few sessions lasting a couple of hours each will result in a settlement that works for you both.

You and your spouse will meet with a mediator, who is a neutral third party. The mediator does not represent you or your spouse. His or her job is simply to facilitate the discussions and help you reach decisions.

You will want to have an attorney of your own who will work just for you. Although, your attorney may not attend all mediation sessions unless you specifically ask for that.

The duties of the mediator include:

  • Helping to keep the conversation flowing
  • Encouraging you both to contribute ideas
  • Enabling you each to state your wants freely
  • Keeping things on track
  • Maintaining fairness
  • Ensuring there is no manipulation

A mediator will not judge or make decisions for you. Mediators have no legal authority to grant a divorce settlement.

When working with your mediator, you will go through every issue you must resolve to get a legal order to end your marriage from the Granite Bay, CA, court, such as:

  • Property division
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Alimony

You get to choose the mediator with whom you will work. Your lawyer can help you find mediators available in Granite Bay, CA, who can assist with your case.

The mediation process will typically begin with the mediator meeting with you and your spouse to get background information. Your mediator will need to form an idea of what you each want to differentiate the areas where there may be a need for extensive discussion and those areas in which you both agree or almost agree.

The initial meetings will help the mediator to determine how many sessions you need. They can then create a plan for the process.

Throughout the procedure, you and your spouse will meet to discuss each of the issues you have yet to agree upon. Often a mediator will stick to one point per session to allow you to focus on it and try to reach a conclusion. Mediation does not end until you agree on all points and draw up a settlement that you can present to the Granite Bay, CA, court for final approval.

Benefits of Mediation

One of the biggest benefits that you gain from mediation is that you have the final say in your divorce settlement. When you go to court, the judge is in charge. It is the judge who makes decisions and issues orders. You may have little input.

Because a divorce will impact your life and the lives of everyone in your family, it only makes sense that you would want to be hands-on. Turning such big decisions over to someone else, even a judge, leaves you in a terrible position where you and your future are out of your control.

Mediation also lets you work through issues in a constructive manner. Do not underestimate this. It is incredibly important as it could impact your relationship with your ex-spouse moving forward. If you have children, it will affect them as well. Being able to have clear and productive discussions and learning how to avoid letting things get too emotional are skills that will benefit you long after the Granite Bay, CA, court finalizes your divorce.

Finally, mediation can save you time and money. It is simply less expensive to spend time with a mediator than it is a judge. Furthermore, your lawyer may not have to always be present during mediation, whereas they would have to be there in court. Plus, you are on your own time and don’t have to follow the court’s schedule.

If you can hold on to more of your assets to share with each other and among the children, it’s a win-win situation for both. However, stronger finances and remaining civil sit at the tip of the iceberg. Look a little deeper and consider these benefits to see if divorce mediation is the right approach for you.

Do You Need an Attorney?

Since mediation requires a lot of work on your part, you may wonder if you need an attorney to assist you. What you will find is that an attorney skilled in divorce mediation can be a great asset that allows you to get the most from the process.

Your lawyer can explain laws and offer legal advice. Remember, the mediator cannot do this even if they are an attorney. Your lawyer can also give you guidance on what you should do and act as your advocate if things get especially tumultuous.

You can consult with your attorney throughout this process.  They will be able to review the final agreement that you reach to check for any potential issues and advise you on whether to sign it. Your attorney is on your side. If your spouse has a lawyer, then you also need one to ensure fairness in the process.

Will Mediation Work?

Mediation can work in almost any situation. As long as you and your spouse are both willing to have discussions and compromise, it can be a wonderful way to end your marriage.

If you are almost on the same page, mediation can nudge you to finalize your agreement. Even if you have a lot of conflicts over decisions, this process can be much more helpful than going straight to court.

The 5 Stages of Mediation

Not all mediated divorces go through all five of these stages, and you might only decide to hire a mediator for one aspect of it. Even so, these are the general steps that apply to most situations:

  1. Introductory Stage: You provide information to your McCunn Law attorney, who then uses the information to lay the groundwork for mediation.
  2. Information Gathering: Your mediator might request all documentation you believe can affect divorce proceedings, such as tax returns, W2s, bank statements, and asset titles.
  3. Decision Framing: The mediator informs each party of the specific points they need to come to an agreement on and outlines the desires and needs associated with each for both parties.
  4. Negotiation: This is the longest stage of the process and the usually most difficult; it involves both parties making a decision on all the predetermined topics they need to address.
  5. Conclusion: The mediator puts the final agreement into writing and seeks the court’s approval for the divorce under the negotiated provisions.

Types of Divorce Mediation

There are two types of divorce mediation, active and passive. In an active mediation, your mediator acts as a coach of sorts to guide you through the process, providing education, advice, and guidance along the way. The active mediator will thoroughly review your options with you and help you craft the best possible outcome. The active mediator is seeking informed and educated consent to the outcome. While some clients of active mediators choose to leverage this more engaged approach, and then subsequently prepare the documents themselves or through a document preparation service, the active mediator is best equipped to prepare the documents as they are most familiar with the details.

The passive mediator’s primary role is the execution of an already agreed upon outcome. The passive mediator does not offer advice or seek to modify the terms of the outcome, even in a case where the outcome is not particularly equitable to one party. There are often underlying reasons for the appearance of inequity that the passive mediation approach does not uncover. One approach is not necessarily superior to the other, but it really depends on which approach is best suited to the parties and disputes in each individual mediation. While our preference at McCunn Law is the active mediation approach, we are experienced in active and passive mediation and able to provide the approach that is best for you.

The Process Is Much Faster Than Contested

You have likely heard the horror stories before of contested divorces that drag out in court for years and have wondered if they are true. The unfortunate answer is yes; most of them are. In fact, one USA Today article shares that there was a contested divorce case that took 21 years to close in New York. It also describes the mediation process as the best way to accelerate proceedings.

Decision Making Is A Process

We focus on outcomes right from the beginning. At McCunn Law, we recognize that the process by which an outcome is achieved is as important as the outcome itself and often is determinative of that outcome. We focus on the decision-making process and proceed step-by-step to address each potentially impactful factor. By focusing intently on making sure we are doing our best on the process, we put you in a position for the best possible outcome.

You Preserve Your Protections

Another fast and easy way to file for divorce, especially when both parties agree, is an uncontested or DIY divorce. Unfortunately, many spouses end up signing away their rights in these divorces because they might not fully understand what they are entitled to. When you work with a McCunn Law mediation attorney, we ensure both parties fully understand their rights, responsibilities, and privileges before moving into the negotiation process on each topic.

You Hire Fewer Professionals

Collaborative divorces also help to speed up the process and might maintain amicable proceedings. However, couples end up hiring as many as four or five professionals to complete the process. If your divorce case is especially complex, this might work for you. For everyone else, hiring only a mediator might help to keep things simple and less expensive. If you prefer to keep the divorce circle of professionals small, this is also ideal for that purpose.

You Maintain Your Privacy

California laws do require disclosing financial information and other key details during a divorce. However, there are some aspects of your marriage and its end that you need not share in front of an “audience” if you keep the fight outside of a courtroom. A mediated divorce allows you to do this in a private setting. The neutral party then becomes the lawyer you hire, not a judge.

There Is Less Back and Forth

During the mediation process, you and your spouse might not agree on everything. This is only natural. However, the final agreement you reach with a mediator is more likely to get buy-in from both parties than what a judge decides in court. Because of this, you’re unlikely to find yourself back in court re-negotiating child custody, child support, or other key settlement details of your divorce.

The Children Come First

Parents mean well, no matter how a divorce pans out. Unfortunately, they do not always agree on the definition of “well,” and children may have no say in the matter. California courts might also have their own opinions on what is in the best interest of children. When you work with a mediator, that person can act as the voice of the children by steering the parents away from the ill-feelings they may justifiably have toward each other and on to amicable solutions that keep the children at the head of all decisions.

How To Prepare for Mediation

If you intend to pursue mediation as an alternative to litigation or the traditional divorce process, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. The key is not to hold on so tightly to your expectations of how things should proceed that you lose an open mind. Being willing to compromise can go a long way for both parties.

Document Assets and Debts

The financial aspects of divorce can take the longest to sort through. One of the best ways to simplify the process is to create a master list of all separate and marital assets and debts. This makes it much easier for you to determine who gets what and why. You might also be surprised to find that some assets you thought were marital property are separate property and vice versa.

Document Income and Expenses

Whether you are still living together or separated, it’s important to take a look at what each party makes and what your current expenses are. This makes it easier to determine if spousal support is necessary and how much to pay for child support. Looking at finances might also help prepare both parties for managing your finances separately in the years ahead.

List Your Expectations

What outcomes do you hope to get out of mediation? If you go in blindly, you might not know what your absolute rock bottom compromise might be or what your must-haves are. That said, remember to be flexible. You might go into mediation and learn more about the realities your partner faced during the marriage or risks they might face afterward than you were initially aware of. Update your list as you receive new information.

Seek Therapy

Most people need someone to talk to during the divorce process. Even if you feel fully prepared for the life ahead, it is a big transition. You might find that you have family members and friends you can talk to, but don’t neglect the possibility of reaching out to a therapist. If you struggle with opening up, note that there are many anonymous online services that you can take advantage of at any time. It is worth noting here that California psychologists have a mandatory reporting obligation when it comes to domestic violence if they can identify you.

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering a mediated divorce, exes might have several questions for our team. There is no one answer we can provide to any question that applies to all askers. Even so, we believe the following general answers might point you in the right direction. Remember to speak to your McCunn Law attorney so you can get specific advice on your case.

1. What if my spouse doesn’t agree to mediation?

Unfortunately, the only way to choose mediation as your divorce option is together. If one party declines, you may need to go to court. The good news is that a “no” might not be final. You might be able to reason with your spouse by sharing the potential benefits of keeping things amicable, especially when it comes to maintaining a civil environment for the children.

2. How do I choose a good mediator?

The right mediator can make all the difference. As with any profession, there are many who bring their biases to the table or who are complacent and do not necessarily care to protect either party. Some might also be new to the field and not as adept at steering negotiations in the right direction. At McCunn Law, we have 40 years of experience. Our principal partner also obtained certificates in mediation and collaborative divorce.

3. Will you draft the final divorce agreement?

When choosing a California mediator, there is an important reason most people choose a lawyer. Not all mediators have the power to translate your verbal agreements into a divorce settlement or final agreement that the court makes formal. Some lawyers might also simply refuse to draft the final agreement because they do not include this service as part of their practice areas. Our lawyer can complete this process for you, so you don’t need to look around for yet another professional to help you with the divorce process.

4. Can I speak to my own attorney during mediation?

You should absolutely consult with an attorney during the mediation process if you have one, but be mindful of the role this professional might play. Remember that the highest-paying divorces for attorneys are contested divorces. If that professional is not a family-first attorney with high standards of ethics, they might try to push you to become combative or argumentative by convincing you that you are not getting a fair deal even when you are. If you work with an attorney committed to an amicable process, then you shouldn’t need to be concerned about this.

5. What are some things I can do to ensure a successful outcome?

This depends on the specifics of your divorce, so your therapist and divorce attorney are in a better position to answer this question. However, here are some general tips to follow:

  • Instead of being passive, actively participate in the process to ensure your concerns are voiced and heard.
  • Keep an open mind and be willing to find grounds for compromise, but your partner also needs to do the same.
  • If there are children involved, keep them at the forefront of all decisions as much as possible to reduce the potentially negative effects of divorce.
  • Consider working with a therapist or coach to help you manage your emotions and show up to mediation calm and collected.
  • Try not to rely on the internet for information as not all information is state-specific; you could find yourself worried about things that are not even legally possible in California.
  • Family and friends mean well, but even if they are well-versed in divorce experiences, try to only take advice on how to proceed from professionals whenever possible.

6. What if mediation doesn’t work out?

If your partner refuses to try mediation or mediation efforts are unsuccessful, try collaborative divorce. This allows both parties to retain their own attorneys. You might even choose to hire a financial professional and a psychologist if you believe their services are necessary or beneficial. If your partner refuses to try collaborative divorce, then you might have no choice but to go to court. If this does happen, we are fully equipped to defend clients in a courtroom as well.

Achieve a Mutually Beneficial Solution with Divorce Mediation

McCunn Law is a Granite Bay, CA-area law firm that provides divorce mediation and collaborative legal services for divorce, legal separation, domestic partnership, domestic violence, child custody, child support, property division, debt assignment and other family issues in Placer, Sacramento and El Dorado counties and surrounding areas.

Compassionate Divorce Mediation Lawyer

If you and your spouse have already come to an agreement, you can resolve your dispute quickly through a “do it yourself” with the attorney assistance approach. In this case, the trained professionals at our firm save you time and money by quickly and accurately providing you with the correct paperwork and process to conclude your matter with your county’s court system.

If you and your spouse need the help of a neutral third party to resolve some sticky challenges, aid in communication, and keep the conversation peaceful, a mediated divorce can aid you in resolving your remaining disputes. In this case, a trained mediator will work with you and your spouse to identify your goals and facilitate your negotiations in a private setting. The mediator will also educate you on California law and how it impacts your circumstances. Our mediators are trained in conflict resolution techniques as they relate to family and divorce disputes. They are highly experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable. They will treat both parties ethically and impartially while keeping the matter confidential and private.

If you and your spouse would benefit by each having an advocate or divorce coach to help you articulate your individual goals and issues to your partner, you may select a “collaborative” divorce. In this case, one of the collaborative attorneys in our office can represent you in private negotiations and can refer your partner to another attorney in our collaborative network for optimum cooperation. We will form around you and your partner a working team, which can include mental health, financial, and other professionals to provide expert guidance in exploring the variety of solutions for optimal results.

If you need immediate intervention to protect you, your children or your finances, please click here for our represented family law services

These approaches are available to resolve the following typical family disputes:

  • Dissolution of Marriage
  • Legal Separations – married and unmarried
  • Domestic Partnerships
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
  • Pre-marital agreements
  • Cohabitation agreements
  • Parenting, Child Custody, and Visitation Agreements
  • Child Support and Spousal Support, including Modification
  • Property Division
  • Debt Resolution
  • Family Residence
  • Family Business
  • Move-Away
  • Parentage
  • Adoption
  • Retirement Benefit Division

How To Get Started

At McCunn Law, our mediation process starts with a consultation. We review the details of your case, answer any questions you might have about our service, and then inform you of pricing and what the next step might be.

Once you make the decision to seek divorce mediation in Granite Bay, CA, consider contacting McCunn Law. Our attorneys are ready and willing to stand by you through the process and assist as needed. Contact us today or call (916) 773-6100.

Why Choose McCunn Law

Our methods for handling business owner divorce and family law issues are unique. We offer legal assistance for a range of family law cases, including:

Mr. McCunn specializes in a holistic, project management approach which empowers you to make your own decisions throughout the process. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and his honest and pragmatic attitude towards divorce and other family law issues ensures you only pay for the services you need during your case.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.

“McCunn Law is a high-quality and highly knowledgeable legal team. I went into a consultation regarding child custody and was extremely happy with the plan and ultimately the results of my case. They create a plan with the client’s needs and wants in mind. Drummond is also great working with regarding what kind of budget a client would be able to afford. If I have any more legal needs in the future this is the office I will use every time.”

Megan P.