Mediation: A Great Tool for Resolving Co-Parenting Issues

Posted by: Cherie Davis


Co-parenting can be challenging, especially when the parents involved cannot see eye-to-eye on certain matters. However, it’s important to remember that even amid disagreements, children’s best interests should always come first. If you are in this situation, consider mediation. Mediation offers several benefits, including facilitating communication, developing a parenting plan, offering flexibility and customization, promoting conflict resolution and problem-solving, emphasizing the children’s best interests, reducing stress for children, adapting to changing circumstances, and preserving parental relationships. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into how you can use mediation to resolve co-parenting issues with your children’s other parent.

Mediation Facilitates Communication

One of the core benefits of mediation is that it facilitates communication between the parties involved. In most cases, parents who cannot come to an agreement for the sake of their children often have difficulty communicating with each other. However, a mediator can step in to help the parents communicate effectively and make progress towards a solution that works best for everyone. The mediator is there to help both parties listen to each other’s opinions and ideas.

Development of a Parenting Plan

Another important benefit of mediation is the development of a parenting plan. A parenting plan is much more detailed than simply saying who has custody of the children. It covers a range of other factors such as schedules, expectations, and other relevant issues that matter in the upbringing of the children. The plan is tailored to the family’s individual needs and helps the parents understand and visualize the future involvement of the other as a co-parent.

Flexibility and Customization

Mediation also allows for creative and flexible ways to resolve co-parenting issues. In contrast to litigation, mediation is flexible, and the parents get to customize the solutions to the disputed issues. Both parties can have a say in resolving the problems, leading to a more genuine and non-blaming resolution.

Conflict Resolution and Problem-Solving

Mediation enables parties to learn how to resolve confusion in addition to the disclosed issues. The mediator directs conversations to focus on the best solution approach without pressuring either party to accept the other’s terms. Parties also learn essential problem-solving and resolution skills.

Emphasizing the Best Interests of the Children

The primary objective of mediation is to emphasize the children’s best interests. Parents can create a working relationship that keeps the interests of the children at hand. Healthy working relationships between co-parents foster healthy lives for the children involved.

Reducing Stress for Children

Mediation helps reduce stress for children. They often witness their parents fighting, but when they see that their parents are working together to resolve issues, children feel less anxiety and anxiety. A calmer environment eliminates unnecessary psychological stress.

Adaptation to Changing Circumstances

Life is not static; changes are inevitable. Mediation accounts for such circumstances by promoting adaptability that can amend the initial parenting plan as circumstances change. Any emerging issue can be discussed and dealt with through the mediator to ensure the continuity of healthy co-parenting.

Preservation of Parental Relationships

Mediation supports keeping the parental relationship intact by allowing parents to communicate regularly with each other. This communication is not just about child-related issues. Communication is live and shows the children that their parents respect each other and support healthy family relationships.

If you are co-parenting with your children’s other parent, mediation is a great solution to help resolve any disagreements amicably. It is essential to focus on the children’s best interests, which is always the priority. Mediation offers an invaluable opportunity for healthy relationships to exist even after separation or divorce. Reach out to a mediator and start working out a plan that works best for your family.

The Wealthy’s Best-Kept Secret: How Divorce Mediation Can Save Your Fortune

Posted by: Cherie Davis

Divorce proceedings can be tough and even more so for wealthy individuals who risk losing their fortune and assets. However, there is one solution that many wealthy couples have turned to – Divorce mediation. While mediation is often viewed as the choice for those with less money, it’s also a great option for high-net-worth individuals. In this blog post, we will explore six reasons why wealthy couples use divorce mediation to preserve their fortune and assets.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Divorce mediation is a private way of resolving issues, which offers an amicable resolution to cases without disclosing any of the information discussed in divorce mediation. Rather than discussing their private matters in front of a judge, the process is kept confidential. All parties involved can come to a resolution while keeping their personal information private.

Customized Solutions

Wealthy couples have much at stake in a divorce and can benefit from the flexibility of divorce mediation. This process allows wealthy individuals to develop solutions that make more sense to their unique situation. For example, they can negotiate property settlements, spousal and child support, and other aspects of the divorce tailored to their individual needs.

Control over the Process

The court system can proceed in a rather unpredictable way, with little to no control. However, the parties involved have complete control over the outcome in mediation. Rather than leaving the process completely up to a judge, they maintain control over decisions affecting their lives.

Preserving Business Interests

Wealthy individuals with businesses can benefit greatly from mediation when protecting and preserving business interests. Mediation provides a controlled environment to negotiate a division of business assets and liabilities.

Reducing Conflict

Conflict is inevitable in a divorce, but mediation can help to reduce it. Mediating a divorce can help parties resolve their issues amicably, resulting in a solution that makes sense. By seeking a peaceful resolution through mediation, parties can avoid wasting money and assets fighting the case in court.

Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness

Divorce litigation can be a long, drawn-out process, which can come at a high cost for all parties involved. Wealthy individuals can use mediation to take control of the costs of their divorce without incurring substantial legal fees. The average person certainly can’t afford litigation costs, but mediation offers a more manageable solution to their legal issues.

In conclusion, divorce mediation is a versatile solution for wealthy individuals looking to dissolve their marriage with minimal impact on their fortune and assets. This process can help to maintain privacy, provide customized solutions, and preserve business interests. Additionally, mediation can reduce conflict, and costs, while allowing parties involved to maintain control of the outcome. So, if you’re a wealthy individual going through a divorce, consider using mediation as an amicable resolution to your marital issues.

Contact Us for Divorce Mediation Assistance

If you have any questions about the divorce mediation process or want to schedule a consultation, please contact us to learn more. We help clients work together to maintain a respectful dialogue and reach agreements that result in sustainable outcomes that will benefit everyone involved in the process. We look forward to helping you.

An Introduction To How Divorce Mediation Works (PODCAST)

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce Mediators

Welcome to California Divorce Mediator’s PODCAST offering an introduction of how divorce mediation works. 

College Tuition and Expenses Can Be Important Topics Negotiated In Divorce Mediation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsThere will be many important decisions affecting your family that can generally discussed and negotiated amicably during  a typical divorce mediation.  For those parties with children in middle school or high school, one important issue that at least one party generally wants to address is how the parties will pay for future college costs for the children.  Most parties expect that their children will need to attend college in order to advance in their lives, and the increasingly higher and higher college expenses is often an issue of concern for divorcing parents.

It should be pointed out that there is no legal requirement to pay for college tuition or related expenses for a child under California law.  However, most parents recognize the obvious importance of their children receiving a college education and degree.

So at California Divorce Mediators, we assist with providing options and ideas so that informed decisions by the parties can be made.  Those options can include splitting such college expenses equally or in proportion to the parties’ relative incomes, or one parent can agree to assume the full costs if that makes sound financial sense, as well as alternative financing options.  In the mediation setting, such topics can be freely discussed, with the best interests of the family in mind.  After all, at the end of the day, most parents want what is best for their children, to the best of their financial ability to do so.

The bottom line is that there can be definite benefits to including the issue of payment of college expenses as part of a divorce settlement agreement. For further information or to schedule a consultation with California Divorce Mediators, please call (949) 553-0911 or visit  California Divorce Mediators is an experienced Divorce Mediation and Family Law firm serving the Orange County and Riverside areas and neighboring counties, serving individuals, couples and families with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, spousal support, child support and child custody issues.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”


Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce Mediators

By: Gerald Maggio, Esq.

1. Each Party Gets The Opportunity To Be Heard.

In court, the parties generally do not get the ability to talk with each other. In the mediation setting, the more comfortable setting and the process itself allows and promotes the ability to talk with each other, as opposed to avoiding each other and letting their attorneys do all the talking. Mediation promotes conversation, instead of yelling and fighting.

2. The Parties Control the Case, Not The Judge.

Leaving the major issues and decisions affecting your family up to the attorneys or the judge in your case, you maintain the control and the outcome of what happens in your case and in your life. Having such major decisions left to persons with relative little knowledge or stake in your life is an incredible leap of faith that should only be done as an absolute last resort when all else fails in settling your case.

3. Mediated Agreements Tend To be Followed More Than Ones Made By Courts.

Studies have shown that parties that have reached agreements in mediation tend to follow such agreements much more than those made by courts. Why? Because the parties had a direct and committed part in making that agreement, and were a key part in negotiating such agreement.

4. You Can Move On Emotionally Much Sooner.

A mediated resolution of a divorce avoids the emotional turmoil, anger, and hurtful feelings against your spouse, thereby allowing the healing process after the end of a relationship to happen much sooner than an ugly divorce fought in court and the resulting emotional damage.

5. You Can Have A Resolution Of Your Divorce That You Can Be Proud Of.

Yes, you can resolve your divorce case in a way that stays true to your values and who you are as a person, and something that your family and friends will respect you for. Yes, your marriage is coming to an unfortunate end, but that does not mean that you have to handle your case in a way that will leave you with regret.

6. Mediation Saves Money and Emotional Expense.

A mediated divorce saves time, money, and emotions so much more than a normal divorce fought in court which can take months and years to resolve, all at the expense of your wallet, checkbook, and credit cards, not to mention your health and emotional well-being.

For more information or to schedule a consultation about whether divorce mediation is right for you, call California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or visit

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

Texting Your Ex And How Technology Has Changed How Divorced Parents Communicate

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediator; California Divorce MediatorsBy:  Gerald Maggio, Esq.

Email and texting has become an increasingly more common way for everyone to communicate but these options for communication have literally revolutionized how divorced parents can communicate with each other. Following a divorce, some parents cannot communicate with each other face-to-face without getting into a heated battle. Even a telephone conversation can be filled with emotional outbursts.

On the contrary, a simple text message letting a parent know the other parent is running late to pick up the kids can be just the simple message it was intended to be and nothing more.

Another recent development is online calendars which have also made co-parenting much more effortless for families. From Google calendars to other types of cloud-based calendars as well as outlook, parents can create a shared calendar to keep track of kids’ activities as well as pick-ups and drop-offs. Most of these online shared calendars are free. One online program called “Our Family Wizard” helps parents not only track calendars and kids’ activities, but it also allows parents to track and document expenses or medical information. The program also provides a place to securely store documents both parents might need. There is a fee for the Family Wizard and there are various levels of pricing depending on what options a family chooses. The program even allows one parent to pay the other parent’s fee if one parent cannot afford it.

Some parenting experts warn that the increased use of technology to communicate may actually do more harm than good. They argue that the lack of face-to-face communication can lower parents’ ability to talk to each other effectively. Sometimes an issue cannot be properly addressed in a text message or email. If a child needs medical attention, or is having trouble in school, parents may need to discuss the background of the issues and the possible options moving forward. Parents who do not have the communication skills for day-to-day communication may not be able to handle the communication skills to handle more serious circumstances.  So although technology advances help in some regards, it should never replace face-to-face communications that parents need to accept and deal with for the sake of their children as part of their responsibility to co-parent.

The other danger of using technology to communicate is sometimes people are willing to say things in an email or text message they might not otherwise say to someone in person. Emails and text messages may be nastier or may be more accusing than a face-to-face conversation because it is easier to make accusations when you are not looking someone in the eye. The fact that there may be a record of the exchange, some people just don’t have the self-control to reel in their emotions in a text or email communication.  Always think before you press “send.”

Generally speaking, parents who take advantage of technology to communicate are more likely to communicate regularly and communicate directly rather than through their children which lowers stress on children as well as on the family as a whole. Parents can also communicate more effectively with their children through the use of texting or skyping if parents are out of town. Of course nothing can take the place of face-to-face time with our children, but regular communication makes both parents and children feel like they are part of each other’s lives.

For further information or to schedule a consultation, please contact California Divorce Mediators at (949)553-0911 or at

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

Who Gets The Dog In A Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsBy:  Gerald Maggio, Esq.

If you don’t have a pet, you might not understand how important and difficult this question can be but if you have ever felt the special bond between a person and a pet, you can imagine how custody issues of pets can be difficult in a divorce. When spouses with children divorce, the court determines whether the parents will have joint custody or if one parent will have sole custody. Courts also provide parenting time schedules for children so both parents have parenting time with the children.

The overriding factor in custody and parenting time decisions is the best interests of the child…not the best interests of the parents. Focusing on the best interests of the child makes custody decisions easier for parents and courts alike because there is enough research on what is best for children in many different situations. If the court were to treat pets like children, they would have to determine what is in the best interests of the pet and that is not something courts are likely to do because court resources are in high demand for more pressing matters. As far as the best interests of the pet, pets are generally fine as long as they have food, water, shelter, perhaps a walk, and someone to give them attention.

Just as not all parents are married, not all pet owners are married either. Roommates, partners, friends, and family might get a pet together and when they go their separate ways, the pet owners may not agree on who should have custody of the pet. For all these situations, courts do not have a process by law to award custody. Some individual courts have made rulings for custody of pets but generally speaking those decisions were left up to the court’s discretion and were not really based in state law.

Pets Are Property

Interestingly, pets are considered property by law so they are treated like property in a divorce. Property includes real property (a house) as well as items such as furniture, electronics, and jewelry. When dividing property, spouses generally each receive property of equal value. One spouse might get the big screen TV while the other spouse might get the china and glassware which has the same value as the TV. How do you put a dollar value on the family pet?

While courts will not typically decide issues regarding pets (there really aren’t any laws for courts to follow regarding pets in divorce) individuals can stipulate their own agreement in regard to family pets. Families with children sometimes decide that the pet should be where the children are. In those cases, the pet follows the same parenting time schedule that the children follow. In some cases, just like property, one spouse might negotiate a deal where he keeps the pet and he offers other types of property in exchange for the pet.

Are You A Dog Lover?

In a survey by the APPA National Pet Owners Survey 62% of households in the United States owned a pet (72.9 million homes). The health benefits of owning a pet are well-documented as pets provide security, companionship, a reason to exercise, and can even lower a person’s blood pressure simply by their presence. People form very special bonds with their pets and particularly in divorce cases where there are no children; the pet can be one of the most valued relationships the divorcing individuals have.

For further information or to schedule a consultation, please contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or at

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

Is My Spouse Entitled to My Inheritance In Our Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsBy Gerald Maggio, Esq.

In California, assets and debts that are acquired during the marriage are generally community property, meaning that each party is entitled to one-half of such assets (or responsible for one-half of such debts).  One MAJOR EXCEPTION to that principle of law is inheritance.  If a spouse inherits money or other assets from family or others, such assets are considered to be that spouse’s separate property, and would not be divided in a divorce.

However, it is highly important to know that you must have segregated such monies and/or assets in a separate account in your own name.  In other words, let’s say that you inherited $100,000 from your grandmother.  You received a cashier’s check for such monies in your name through her estate.  If you were to deposit that check into a bank account in your own name and it existed at the time of separation/divorce, it would be hard for any court to determine that it was anything but that spouse’s separate property.  On the other hand, if you were to have deposited that check into the joint checking account with your spouse and some or all of the funds were spent on various expenses and splurges, etc., you likely have a limited ability to claim any of those spent funds without proof and dependent on what you spent the money on.  You may have a claim for any remaining monies in the joint account assuming that there was not a valid transmutation into community property pursuant to Family Code section 852, which imposes certain requirements on marital transmutations, including that a transmutation “is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected.” there is arguably a transmutation of those funds into community property by way of the deposit into the joint checking account.

In plain English, you will save a lot of headache, legal fees, and expert fees spent tracing the funds into and out of any joint account by simply keeping any inheritance segregated in your own account in your own name from the moment that you receive such inheritance.  If you do want to use such monies for joint purposes in the future, consider a transmutation agreement with your spouse.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or at

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

Think Twice Before Having A Child Witness Testify In Your Child Custody Case

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County Divorce Mediators; California Divorce MediatorsBy:  Gerald Maggio, Esq.

In some situations, taking the testimony of a minor child can be necessary, especially where physical or sexual abuse is involved.  Those court proceedings are generally done confidentially, either in a closed courtroom or in the judge’s chambers.

However, a parent in a child custody case should think long and think twice before seeking to have a child testify in their case.  For instance, in some cases, there are blended families where there are younger children of the parties’ marriage or relationship, and also older stepchildren or children of just one of the parents (hereinafter described as “the other children” in this article), all living under the same roof.  I have seen parents want to call one of “the other children” to testify against the other party because the children of the relationship of the parties are too young to really do so, to make allegations that the other parent has been abusive to them and to their younger half-siblings.  It becomes apparent soon enough that “the other children” have been coached to say things in a certain way in court to help the parent pushing them to testify in the first place.

It is troubling for any parent to ever put their children in such a difficult position to have to testify in court, if it is not really necessary.  It is awful that any parent would coach their children to potentially lie or misstate the truth, for the sake of the parent seeking the testimony (hereinafter referred to as “bad parent”).  The problem is further compounded when the other attorney representing the other parent starts questioning the child regarding his or her prior, canned responses prepared and coached by “bad parent.”  At that point, the child will start looking at “bad parent” across the courtroom seeking help in how to answer unscripted, tougher questions from the other attorney.  In the end, the child’s previous testimony can be found unbelievable, and potentially “bad parent’s” use of the child’s testimony backfires and hurts bad parent’s custody case, because the court has determined that “bad parent” is not a sympathetic and credible parent, but a manipulative one.

Not only can use of a child’s testimony for such purpose backfire, it can detrimentally affect the child psychologically and emotionally.  Child custody disputes are generally never easy to resolve, but using child witnesses for such purposes is not right and can hurt them and your custody case.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact California Divorce Mediators at (949)553-0911 or at

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County Divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsBy:  Gerald Maggio, Esq.

The decision to separate and to divorce a spouse (if the choice was yours, and not made for you by your spouse) is certainly a very difficult, complex, and emotionally tough decision you will likely ever make in your life.  We at California Divorce Mediators understand that very well, and our goal is to assist you in working towards a resolution of your case by mediating a fair and amicable agreement without the fear, uncertainty and expense of traditional litigation.

In the past, most cases concerning separation and divorce were handled by separate attorneys representing each spouse, with both sides preparing for litigation in court. Divorce mediation is part of a newer trend of alternate dispute resolution, outside of court.  With the assistance of a divorce mediator, you and your spouse become active, involved decision-making partners in your case, rather than opposing parties in court.

In a divorce mediation, the mediator does not represent either spouse per se.  Rather, the mediator’s role is that of an unbiased, neutral third party who helps you both reach an agreement which is fair and balanced, and one which works for the entire family. Couples who have mediated their separation and divorce have been shown to be more likely to follow the terms of their negotiated agreement, and to be able to maintain a working relationship in the future when children are involved.

A divorce mediator can assist in the resolution of all issues in your separation or divorce case, including:

1.  The division of marital assets and debts

2.  Custody and visitation

3.  Child support and spousal support

In some cases where a marital business is involved, or a substantial community estate, or other factors that make your case more complex, we have a network of experts that can tapped as needed to assist in the resolution of such issues.

Once the issues of your separation or divorce case have been resolved, the terms thereof are incorporated into a Stipulated Judgment prepared by  the mediator, to be notarized by the parties and ultimately filed with the court.  Once the Judgment is processed by the court, the Judgment terms become court orders, making the Judgment a formal legal agreement between the parties, and thereby also dissolving the marital status of the parties.

For further information or to schedule a consultation, contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”