Divorce Mediation

Orange County Family Mediation

Family Mediation

Most family law cases are not resolved through litigation. Cases settle because the parties reach an agreement. That agreement can be reached through direct negotiation between the parties or with a third-party mediator; we are skilled mediators who can help you and your spouse reach an amicable resolution. In addition, we represent our clients in mediation sessions, and they can often be very effective to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation in court.

There are many benefits to pursuing family law mediation rather than divorce.

  • Parties in litigation lose control of the outcome. If they can’t work things out themselves, it’s up to a judge to decide. Judges’ decisions are difficult and expensive to appeal, if things don’t go your way.
  • Trials are open to the public. Given the very intimate details that these cases often involve, total strangers and even the media may watch, listen, and then publish what they’ve learned.
  • Family law cases can be very emotional. Parties and witnesses put those emotions on display at trial. That may be something that you’re not comfortable with and prefer to maintain privacy.
  • If the case involves domestic abuse, addiction, and infidelity, disclosures may be highly embarrassing.
  • Family finances and the management and finances of family-owned businesses are discussed in open court and revealed in publicly available court documents.
  • Litigation is very costly in time, energy, and money. Both parties normally share the cost of a mediator. If the mediation is successful, it can save the parties resources they can use to move forward in their lives. 

We offer the mediation process as an alternative to litigation to reach an agreement with your spouse. You cannot be forced into mediation, but it is usually the best option if both parties want it, so they both have some control over the outcome. Give us a call today for more information on how we can help you achieve the outcome you desire.


In mediation, the parties, and their attorneys, if represented, meet with the mediator. That person may be an attorney practicing family law or a retired judge. Who the mediator will be is agreed to by the parties. Mediators should have excellent knowledge of family law when mediating family law cases. They should be trained and experienced in helping parties reach a resolution, though each mediator varies in their approach or style. The mediation is held in private, and the disclosures made cannot be used at trial if mediation fails to resolve the case. Kaufman Steinberg attorneys are qualified and suited to mediate your case.

Usually, both parties have an opportunity to tell their side of the story, set forth proposed settlement terms, and explain why theirs is a fair proposal. Each party is typically given separate rooms where they can talk privately with their attorney(s). The mediator shuttles back and forth with proposals, and s/he may meet just with the parties’ attorneys to get their input or reaction to possible terms.

A mediator will get to the heart of the matter, explore what the parties want or need to resolve the case, and will help enable the parties to engage in give-and-take to reach a resolution. Some mediators may propose possible solutions, while others will leave that entirely to the parties and the attorneys.

Mediation services will not necessarily lead you to a settlement, but mediation can provide a forum for each side to present its case in a civilized setting. You may find that going through mediation helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Some mediation agreements resolve the entire case, while others resolve only certain issues such as custody schedules or other temporary orders, property division, or support.

In mediation, before anyone signs any documents, you check with your own attorney(s) to make sure you understand all terms and conditions of the agreement and that it is what s/he recommends and represents to be fair and equitable. That way, if mediation fails to produce an agreement, then court action can follow where at least one party has had their day in court.

Any mediation agreement reached will be filed with the court so that if mediation does not result in the resolution of your case, you can still later file a motion for trial—and at least one party has had their day in court.


The point of a family law case is to help a client reach their goals in a way that most likely will be successful, at the lowest cost in time, energy and expense. Mediation is a way to shorten the litigation process, providing a positive outcome at a lower cost. This is why we assist clients trying to settle family law cases in mediation.

Divorce mediation services are the mediation form that may be most familiar to people, but mediation can also help with child custody and visitation issues, pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, mediation of stepsibling relationships involving children, mediation of unincorporated business associations, mediation of family law financial disputes, mediation of cross-border family matters, mediation involving surrogate parents for children, expanding parenting time/contact through mediation, adult guardianship matters using mediation, adoption or surrogate parenting using mediation or other applications.   

Whether your case involves a divorce or any other type of family law matter, the key reasons to use mediation is to avoid costly litigation, and protect your privacy.

If you have any questions about family law issues and how they might be resolved in a way that’s more private and normally less confrontational and costly than a trial, contact family law attorney Kaufman Steinberg so we can discuss the issues you’re facing and how they might be resolved.

Call our office at 949.757.9000 to schedule a confidential consultation with an Orange County family law mediator.

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