There are many people who frequently consider divorce, yet for one reason or another, they never seem ready to pull the trigger. Perhaps those unhappy spouses choose to remain in loveless marriages due to financial concerns. Others stay married because they believe that a split from their partner might adversely affect their children's development. Still, there are a few individuals who have been married for a long time and have grown apart over the years, yet don't know how to proceed with divorce.
Marriages with distant spouses can happen for a variety of reasons, but some occur because each spouse begins to gradually live a different life. In some of these cases, one spouse is completely devoted to his or her work, while the other spouse strives to satisfy other interests. Regardless of the causes for the divergent interests, it's important for you to know that California requires a "cooling down" period of at least six months before a long-married couple can divorce. The primary reason for that is because many couples will reconcile once the divorce proceedings have started and the papers have been served.
The mandatory waiting period also provides a good opportunity for you and your spouse to undergo mediation. This is particularly true if you have been together for a long time yet have increasingly diverging interests and goals. A divorce mediator is not going to choose sides. Their job is to remain neutral and leave the power to resolve issue related to your divorce to you and your spouse. This creates an environment where both sides can fairly discuss all manner of divorce related issues ranging from child custody concerns to the division of assets and debts.
Another benefit of mediation is that it can significantly reduce the overall costs of a contested divorce. This is because the presence of a neutral referee can often facilitate an atmosphere where both spouses can more readily work out the terms of their settlement.
Our law firm has over 35 years of combined legal experience helping clients throughout the Bay Area in family law related matters. From our offices in Livermore, we provide cost-effective divorce mediation counseling for spouses considering collaborative divorces. Prospective clients should know that they can schedule an appointment, either via phone or through our online contact page, to confidentially discuss their cases with one of our experienced attorneys.