Young married couple consulting with a mediator for their divorce proceedings

Divorce is a difficult transition that can be emotionally and financially draining. However, divorce mediation is a less adversarial and more amicable way to end a marriage that can reduce stress and offer positive results. That’s where Off the Record Mediation Services LLC can assist you. 

Based in Palo Alto, CA, we help clients from all walks of life, including high-net-worth couples, to mediate divorce throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. When you meet with us, you will work directly with an experienced mediator who will get to know you, learn about your circumstances, understand your goals, and explore your options. 

Our founder, Dorit L. Goikhman, has a well-earned reputation as an informed advocate who guides her clients through divorce mediation privately and efficiently. Don’t litigate your divorce; mediate. Contact our office today by calling 866-223-4153 or by booking a session.

About Divorce Mediation in California

Divorce mediation allows both parties to resolve key issues like property division, child custody, and child support while avoiding court filings, appearances, and a trial. Divorce mediation offers several benefits, including:

  • Mediation is less costly and less time-consuming than divorce litigation
  • Mediation is private, unlike a court case
  • Mediation allows both parties to voice their concerns
  • Mediation allows the couple to determine the outcome of their divorce

The parties can mitigate the tension and find mutually agreeable solutions by not litigating the divorce. These benefits are even more helpful when minor children are involved. 

However, divorce mediation is not for everyone. If the parties cannot cooperate and negotiate in good faith, mediation may not be right for you. And cases involving domestic violence, substance, or child abuse are not suited for divorce mediation. 

As a professionally trained divorce mediator, Dori does not represent either side or offer legal advice but guides the negotiations and helps both parties craft a solution. She understands the sensitive issues involved and works to create an environment where the parties can communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully. 

You can depend on Dori to help you focus on present issues, avoid dredging up past hurts, and work together to reach an agreement. 

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

Divorce mediation begins by gathering information and providing it to the mediator, including:

  • Assets owned
  • Debts
  • Bank accounts
  • Automobiles

Issues to resolve typically include the division of property and debts, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Depending on the circumstances, the mediator may meet with each party separately to understand their needs and concerns and then bring them together to discuss their issues.

As a mediator, Dori does not make decisions or issue rulings. Instead, the couple makes the final decisions about the divorce agreement in one or more mediation sessions. Dorit works to facilitate discussions and ensure that the needs of the children and the spouses are addressed and met. Once the parties reach an agreement, Dorit can draft it for court approval. 

How Much Does Divorce Mediation Cost in California?

Divorce mediation costs in California can vary widely, influenced by factors such as the complexity of the case, the experience and rates of the mediator, and the duration of the mediation process. Typically, mediators in California charge anywhere from $100 to $400 per hour. Some mediators might offer a flat fee for the entire process, especially for simpler cases, but this is less common. The total cost of divorce mediation depends on how many sessions are required to resolve all issues. Mediation sessions can range from a few hours to several full days, and the process could span weeks or months, depending on the couple’s ability to reach agreements.

For an average divorce case, the total cost of mediation could range from $3,000 to $8,000, but this is just an estimate. Complex cases involving significant assets, child custody disputes, or other contentious issues can drive costs higher. Additionally, each party may also incur separate expenses for consulting with their own attorneys outside of mediation sessions. It’s important to note that despite these costs, mediation is often less expensive than a contested divorce proceeding through the courts, which can be significantly more costly and time-consuming. Therefore, while the cost of mediation in California can be substantial, it often represents a more cost-effective and amicable solution for divorce.

Why You Need an Experienced Divorce Mediator

Having a skilled, seasoned mediator can mean the difference between achieving a mutually beneficial outcome and needing to litigate your divorce. You can turn to Dorit L. Goikhman to: 

  • Clarify the rules and procedures of mediation
  • Guide you through the mediation sessions
  • Help you negotiate a fair settlement
  • Prepare and submit the divorce agreement to the court

As a mediator, Dori does not offer legal advice. The parties may choose to have attorneys participate directly in the mediation sessions or may choose to mediate without attorneys. It is always advisable for the parties to have proper legal representation for this process and to have their attorneys review the agreement before signing. As an experienced family law attorney with specific training in divorce mediation, Dori serves clients throughout California with the highest standards of professional excellence.

What Else You Should Know About Divorce Mediation

No matter how amicable divorce mediation is, severing marital ties is never easy and takes preparation. Gather financial documents for your initial meeting, such as:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Past W2s and/or 1099s
  • Certified copy of your marriage certificate
  • List of assets (real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments), and debts
  • Copy of any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

The more prepared you are, the more smoothly mediation will go. But you must communicate effectively with your soon-to-be former spouse and the mediator. So prepare to listen, speak, and compromise. Divorce mediation is a challenging process that requires patience to work through your issues. Let Dorit L. Goikhman show you the way, expediently mediate your divorce, and help you move on.

Service Areas

Off The Record Mediation Services, LLC helps customers throughout the Central California and San Francisco Bay area, including:

  • San Mateo County
  • Orange County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Marin County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Alameda County
  • Solano County
  • Napa County
  • Sonoma County
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • Fremont
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Rosa
  • Stockton
  • Sacramento
  • Modesto
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • Berkeley
  • Monterey
  • and more…

Contact Our Experienced California Divorce Mediator

If you believe divorce mediation is right for you, turn to Off the Record Mediation Services today. We offer informed guidance, objective insights, and an exceptional client experience. To schedule a free 30-minute mediation consultation, call our office at 866-223-4153 or schedule a free mediation consultation online today.