Coming to an Agreement

You and your spouse must disclose all assets. You will need to come to an agreement about how you will divide your community property. Community property is property accumulated during the marriage. You will need to put your arrangements in writing in your Settlement Agreement. If you canít come to an agreement, you have 2 options. You can go to court, where your community property will be divided 50/50 in accordance with California law and the judge will award support payments as he sees fit. This will cost a lot of money and cause considerable delays to your divorce proceedings. The other option is to go to mediation. This also costs money, but not as much as hiring a lawyer and going to court. You and your spouse would sit down with a mediator in a neutral environment and discuss the issues that you canít agree on. You can take as long as you need to consider arrangements before agreeing, and you can try different arrangements out to see if they will work for you. The mediator will keep things calm and non-confrontational. With the mediator present, you discuss your options and come to your own agreement. You are always in control of the outcome, unlike you would be in court. Divorcing couples who use mediation get through the settlement and custody issues much faster than couples who go to court, and they generally have a better post-divorce relationship with each other.