OC Dispute Resolution Services, LLC

Focusing on Divorce & Business Mediation

We are committed to providing mediation and dispute resolution services designed to accomplish one thing - - RESOLUTION!  Our mediator's are experienced, tenacious, compassionate and skilled at resolving cases just like yours.  Whether it takes two hours or sixteen hours, we are there for you.

Contact us to see how we can help you settle your dispute!

How Do I Prepare for Mediation?

1.  Review your documents and evidence

Gather all the relevant evidence and organize it. Review it all carefully. Understand the other side's position and review their evidence.

2.  Bring key documents and evidence to refer to & support your arguments

Preparation is key. Having everything there to assist you can only help.

3.  Work with your attorney to determine your "bottom line"

Spend some time preparing with your attorney in advance (not the morning of).

4.  Understand the other side's claims (your weaknesses) and prepare to address them head on

So that you can make informed decisions, you should be aware of your case strengths and weaknesses.

5.  Consider many different settlement options (payments over time, restructuring, etc.)

Think out of the box. Money isn't always the only way to resolve a matter in Mediation.

6.  Don't draw a line in the sand early in the Mediation

You want to remain open minded and keep the process going as long as progress is being made.

Mediating a Partnership & Business Dissolution

Ending a business partnership is a bit like ending a marriage.  Assets have been accumulated and need to be divided.  Depending upon whether one or more partners will continue in the same line of work, client relationships need to be addressed.  There are also liabilities that need to be addressed.  In order to properly separate, the partners need to decide if the partnership will be dissolved, continued on by one or more of the partners or sold.  These issues should be explored in detail when trying to resolve the issues so that everyone is aware of the pro's and con's (i.e., liabilities) of continuing forward in the business.  If the partnership is to be dissolved, there are IRS waivers that need to be obtained.  It is more than just shutting the doors or handing the keys over to the new owners!

To adequately prepare for partnership mediation, everyone must be aware of all assets, liabilities, exposure, and rights of the parties.  The relevant documentation should be shared in advance of the mediation, so that everyone can make informed decisions.  Involve the company CPA if need be.  

Partnership mediations can be quite complex, especially when there are more than 2 sides (i.e., a business with 4 partners).  

Mediation and California "No Fault" Divorce

What is a "No-Fault Divorce"?

California, like nearly all states, is a "no-fault divorce" state. Put simply, a no-fault divorce occurs where a spouse seeking a divorce does not have to prove any degree of wrongdoing by the other spouse when obtaining the divorce. Bad acts such as infidelity will have no bearing on the ultimate disposition of property.

The primary grounds for divorce in California is irreconcilable differences. While there are other grounds for divorce, such as fraud or incurable insanity, these are uncommon and rarely asserted.

Does spousal misconduct matter at all?

As discussed above, spousal misconduct does not factor into the divorce itself. However, varying degrees of misconduct may affect issues incident to the divorce. Such issues include spousal support, child custody and even distribution of community assets.

For example, when a court is making a custody decision, they must consider evidence of domestic violence when making an order. Domestic violence factors into a determination of spousal support as well. Family Code 4320 specifically provides for documented evidence of any history of domestic violence to be a factor used by the courts in making a spousal support order.

Also, California law holds the spousal "fiduciary duty" in high regard. Spouses have a duty of full disclosure to the other spouse of all material facts regarding community assets. Any spouse that hides or transfers assets during a divorce breaches their spousal fiduciary duty. This can result in stiff penalties, including an award of an entire piece of property.

Conclusion

Though fault is not a factor when seeking a divorce, spousal misconduct will often affect vital issues involved with the divorce.

When it comes to mediating a divorce, fault is not an area of focus.  Rather, determining a mutually beneficial result is of paramount importance.  Mediating your divorce is an effective and cost savings method of moving on with your life.  It can be accomplished, in most cases, in one mediation session!  Contact OC Dispute Resolution Services to schedule your mediation today!  

 

 

What is Mediation?

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.

The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and dynamics that "ordinary" negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator's skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained, professional mediators committed to the discipline.

The benefits of mediation[1] include:

  • Cost—While a mediator may charge a fee comparable to that of an attorney, the mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels. While a case in the hands of a lawyer or a court may take months or years to resolve, mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means expending less money on hourly fees and costs.
  • Confidentiality—While court hearings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential. No one but the parties to the dispute and the mediator(s) know what happened. Confidentiality in mediation has such importance that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court as to the content or progress of mediation. Many mediators destroy their notes taken during a mediation once that mediation has finished. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
  • Control—Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. In a court case, the parties obtain a resolution, but control resides with the judge or jury. Often, a judge or jury cannot legally provide solutions that emerge in mediation. Thus, mediation is more likely to produce a result that is mutually agreeable for the parties.
  • Compliance—Because the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable, compliance with the mediated agreement is usually high. This further reduces costs, because the parties do not have to employ an attorney to force compliance with the agreement. The mediated agreement is, however, fully enforceable in a court of law.
  • Mutuality—Parties to a mediation are typically ready to work mutually toward a resolution. In most circumstances the mere fact that parties are willing to mediate means that they are ready to "move" their position. The parties thus are more amenable to understanding the other party's side and work on underlying issues to the dispute. This has the added benefit of often preserving the relationship the parties had before the dispute.
  • Support—Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process. The mediator helps the parties think "outside of the box" for possible solutions to the dispute, broadening the range of possible solutions.

Websters Dictionary

We want to handle your next mediation or arbitration!