Sperling & Associates offers mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method. People who mediate retain control over the agreement process. Mediation is less expensive than traditional legal processes, and an experienced mediator can keep conflict and expenses to a minimum.
At Sperling & Associates, Richard Sperling uses years of mediation experience to help people transform their conflicts to agreement. He mediates divorce, estate matters, real estate and business disputes, and other family and neighbor issues. Richard teaches mediation and conflict resolution at the law school level, and he has taught mediation and negotiation to college students for many years at Cal. State University Northridge, and Antioch University in Santa Barbara.
Richard is a trained, certified mediator who is also a family law attorney. He is experienced and skilled in helping parties to reach agreement on all issues, including custody, child and spousal support (alimony), and/or division of assets and debts. As a neutral mediator, Richard can provide general information about divorce laws and court procedures. However, a mediator must remains neutral. A mediation is not a hearing, it is a conversation about settlement.
A mediation costs a family much less than a litigated or attorney-driven divorce. A mediator may also be able to prepare and file a divorce agreement. An attorney/mediator cannot give either party legal advice, but can share legal information and a general knowledge of how the law or a judge would likely address specific case issues. The parties control how quickly or slowly agreements are reached. In contrast, a non-mediated divorce may be slowed by the schedules of the attorneys and the court.
A mediated divorce can be less stressful for the parties who come to agreement through conversation, listening, and agreement-building.
In a mediated divorce, the mediator should insure that each party is heard and understood, so that agreements reached reflect the goals of the parties. As a trained mediator, Richard helps the parties address their concerns in a safe environment. In the rare case when agreement is not reached, the parties reserve the right to retain attorneys and ask a judge to decide the unresolved issues.
In a mediation, the parties sign a written agreement which states anything said or not said during the mediation is confidential and cannot be used in court if the mediation is not successful. Mediations with trained, skilled mediators result in agreement 90% of the time.