Merrisa L. Coleman-Bishop - Santa Clara County Divorce Mediation
Attorney Merrisa Coleman-Bishop advises and represents her family law clients about mediation proceedings for the negotiated resolution of contested issues in both divorce cases and domestic partnership dissolutions. For specific advice about how to prepare for and what to expect from your mediation hearing, contact the San Jose family law office of Merrisa Coleman-Bishop.
Contested issues relating to property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody must generally be referred to mediation before the court will hear a formal motion and determine the matter in favor of one side or the other. While mediation offers no guarantee that you'll succeed in achieving or compromising your objectives on favorable terms, many clients find that the mediation process can be extremely helpful in reaching agreement on sharply divisive issues.
Mediation also represents a substantial savings in time and money over the preparation involved in handling a contested issue for hearing before a Family Court judge. Additionally, a negotiated agreement as to a contested child support or property division question resolves and avoids all of the uncertainty that a court hearing necessarily involves.
The role of the mediator is not to force an agreement between the parties, but instead to facilitate a resolution by defining the points of agreement and disagreement, and by keeping the discussion focused on the actual issues, rather than the personal problems, character flaws, and moral failings that divorcing parties sometimes dwell upon and distract themselves with. When they take a clear understanding of their own rights and goals into the mediation process, and choose to focus on the problem at hand rather than the other person's bad behavior, spouses or domestic partners can reach perfectly acceptable and even highly favorable settlements even in difficult situations.