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“Mediate Don’t Litigate”
This tag line has important emotional and financial consequences to parties dissolving their marital relationship. Attorney Spiekerman advocates mediation to his clients whenever this course is possible. He is genuinely interested in conflict resolution outside of the adversarial legal system when it is prudent and safe for parties to end their disputes through a rationale process. The mediation process offers a kinder, gentler and more productive way of resolving the conflicts that naturally arise in divorce, domestic partnership dissolutions, legal separation, and custody and support proceedings. Mr. Spiekerman is a trained mediator who has received substantial mediation and collaborative law training and is qualified in advanced conflict resolution. After many years as a family law litigator he has accumulated not only vast knowledge and comfort with how matrimonial law is applied in California, but also has had the opportunity to work with scores of couples who genuinely hoped to resolve their disputes respectfully but just didn’t know how to do so without outside expertise. He understands that litigation can be a huge expense to clients already faced with a reduced household income and divided assets, as well as having to deal with possible child and spousal support obligations. And so he always recommends that clients first seriously consider mediation as a process to end their marital relationship. In order for this process to succeed however, it requires a cooperative attitude on the part of each party and a willingness to abide by minimal boundaries that exist to ensure calm and dignity for each person. In the course of a divorce process, this route is abundantly less expensive to both parties in dissolving their relationship fairly, equitably and with far less stress. Most importantly, the benefit of a mediated divorce is that when each party cooperates in the process, his or her participation greatly expands the power and range of decision-making and achieves a higher level of satisfaction with the outcome for both parties than they might otherwise experience in a family law court.
Clients are typically surprised at the actions that take place in a family law courtroom. It is important to understand that often times Judges do not dispense justice; they make decisions. The law is not a black and white situation, especially in a family law courtroom; it is a range of options for the Judge to choose from. Why entrust the possibility of being subject to a least desirable outcome rendered by a disinterested third party when ownership of a mediated outcome is so much more acceptable to each party. A Judge may have to deal with 15 or so cases on his or her calendar for that day and your case is one of them. When the individual circumstances of the case allow, the choice of the process is clear.
Michael Spiekerman has acquired wisdom from two decades of serving families that might benefit your own. As a mediator, he acts as a neutral, unbiased facilitator, favoring neither side. With the parties’ joint concurrence, he can work with mental health professionals and financial professionals whenever it makes sense for the parties.
On the other hand, Mr. Spiekerman does not lose sight that in an adversarial situation clients who find themselves in difficult circumstances want first and foremost to have their parental rights and financial rights protected and to be shielded from the potential self-dealing of the other spouse. It is not appropriate where gross power imbalances exist between spouses, partners, or parents.
If circumstances warrant and the idea of Mediation is something you wish to investigate, please call our office for a free phone consult.
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