We are 6 weeks into a dissolution of marriage in California. My husband now wants to mediate. He has not retained legal counsel, but I have. Is a 'no contest' divorce an option at this point and if so, how would we proceed?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You should also secure the services of an experienced family law attorney to advise you on your legal rights so you can participate in mediation with the same professional guidance enjoyed by your husband.
I agree completely with Ms. Kock, but she does not really answer your question. The way you would proceed is to reach agreement on as many issues as possible, then use the mediator to work out a settlement of any disputed or not agreed points. You then have a good Marital Settlement Agreement prepared and signed, which becomes an exhibit to a stipulated judgment. You submit the stipulated judgment (along with a LOT of other required paperwork) and if everything is in order the court will issue the divorce judgment without anyone ever having to go to court. Bear in mind, however, that is just a general outline. The devil is in the details and the chances of either being taken advantage of, or just messing something up, are very high if you do not at least hire an attorney on a consulting basis to advise you and to review anything you are going to sign or submit to the court. Which is why Ms. Kock and I strongly advise you to talk to a Family Law attorney in person.