• Annmarie Baranik

Divorce Mediation: For the well being of The Children

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Divorce mediation is about you and your ex-spouse deciding your own divorce and what is best for the both of you and your children. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, usually a lawyer, and work through the issues you need to resolve. It is helpful that the person doing mediation is aware of all the family law codes. If they are a lawyer they can guide you in what would be ordered in court. Every State has different Family Law codes so knowledge is power. The issues covered include but are not limited to the distribution of Property, Child Custody, Parenting time and even child support.

Mediation is flexible and confidential. A divorce mediator is neutral and doesn't "work" for either parent. That means the mediator cannot give advice to either party. They must remain neutral no matter what the situation.

In Mediation, the mediator goes thru the issues at hand and tries to come up with a solution that works for both parties. Normally this is only possible when the parties are focused on compromising. If the parties are not thinking about solving this reasonably and quickly, it could end up going to a judge anyways. The going rates are about $4,000.00 right now in Los Angeles for mediation. A divorce with lawyers can cost well into $100,000.00 with attorney fees.

Mediation is voluntary. It continues only for so long as all three of you want it to. Mediation can be conducted weekly, every two weeks, monthly or how ever often the couple wants them to be. This is their mediation and they decide everything in the process. The normal is about 4-5 times.

So either you and your ex-spouse can decide your future or the judge, who doesn’t know you or the children can. I always say, be careful what you ask for. Since going to court can be costly and you can end up going thru your entire savings going again and again. Most countries have adopted a Mediation solution to family court and it is most always a better solution.

When you get to court in Los Angeles, you have to go to the mediation department first before you even see the judge, Its mandatory. They are giving you a chance to settle in your own terms. If not you’ll come back and most likely it will be continued to another hearing for the judge to decide each matter one by one. Each time the only person doing well, is your lawyer at $4-600.00 an hour.

I do this mediation with my clients and the law office of Randi L. Cooper. At http://lawofficerlc.com/

Sometimes we can come up with an agreement and just end up in court for one or two things. Randi L. Cooper, Esq. and I were trained at the Los Angeles District Attorneys Dispute Resolution Department. We did over 40 Hours of cases and countless reports settling out of court for many disputes.

Randi L. Cooper has been a licensed California attorney since 2001.  In addition to operating her law practice, Ms. Cooper  has utilized her legal experience as a Mediator and Facilitator for the Los Angeles City Attorney Dispute Resolution Program and the Neighborhood Justice Program.  She also previously hosted a radio show on KTYM (1460 AM) every Friday morning. The show provided the local community with an informational forum that dealt with everyday legal issues.  

Ms. Cooper's professional experience is varied and extensive. In addition to being an accomplished Attorney, Ms. Cooper was an environmental consultant to the second largest school district in the country, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), where she managed the environmental review process for the $19 Billion LAUSD New School Construction Program.  Ms. Cooper was also a consultant for numerous large construction contracts and to several city, state, and Federal entities.

Ms. Cooper is community minded and has provided pro bono legal services through the Harriet Buhai Family Law Clinic and the Public Counsel Bankruptcy Self Help Clinic.  Ms. Cooper is consistently characterized as dependable and caring. She exudes a positivity that has definately proven to be an asset again and again.

My expertise comes in the custody section. While studying for my Masters in Psychology and a law degree I realized the need for a mediator to help the families being monitored.  I’ve developed a very niche program to help families going thru this.  As a Parenting Coordinator, I can help a family that is high conflict.  

I also have a BA in Journalism, a Certificate in PR, a Paralegal Certificate and am a bonded Legal document assistant.  I am a member of SVN (the Supervised Visitation Network) and trained as a mediator with the Los Angeles City Attorneys Office

As a monitor, she has realized the importance of safety and a fun environment for children to thrive during a divorce and custody battle. AnnMarie's motto is "what is in the best interest of the child".  She is an experienced monitor with amazing staff to appeal to any case. 

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