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Compromise Isn't Easy
If compromise was simple, there wouldn't be a need for mediators or litigators. Not everyone can compromise. You need to be able to bend, not break. And some people just can't bend. Others just won't bend. You need to decide what is really important.

Do we need to file divorce papers before beginning mediation?
If my spouse and I already have a court action started, is it too late to mediate our case?
How long does mediation take?
How do we resolve more complex issues?
Why choose mediation?
Why choose San Diego Divorce Mediation Center?
Why choose a Certified Family Law Specialist?

Do we need to file divorce papers before beginning mediation?
     No, the dissolution papers may be filed after you start mediation and the mediator will help you through this process by preparing and filing the court documents. If you choose to file your paperwork prior to commencement of mediation, you may do so. For San Diego cases, click on this website to see information about free family court services at

If my spouse and I already have a court action started, is it too late to mediate our case?
     It is never too late to mediate. In fact, mediation may help defuse some of the hostility involved in dealing directly with the court process. Even if you have attorneys, you can participate in a mediation and see if you can "cut to the chase" in reaching resolution. In some cases, your attorneys may also participate in the mediation. Our mediators are skilled in helping clients and their counsel settle cases.

How long does mediation take?
     Every case is different and all people are different so it is difficult to predict how many mediation sessions will be needed. Generally speaking each mediation meeting lasts two hours. You will be given some homework regarding gathering information about your income, assets and debts and if this is done early on, this speeds up the process. The most important factor regarding the length of time mediation takes is the clients ability to work cooperatively toward a solution. On average, however, four to six sessions should resolve most cases unless there is a high degree of personal conflict; complex property or debt issues or child sharing issues.

How do we resolve more complex issues?
     Jan has over 40 years of family law experience and Kristine has over 22 years. Jan has litigated complex family law matters and both mediators have creative approaches to problems. When necessary accountants, appraisers or financial planners can be added to the team to make sure all issues are covered in detail.

Why choose mediation?
     In these times of financial uncertainty, mediation is a less costly approach than traditional attorney representation with its adversarial approach. We find that couples who resolve their disputes through mediation have a substantially greater likelihood of honoring their  agreements; getting on with their lives in a healthier manner; and maintaining civil co-parenting relationships in the future which reduces the negative impact of divorce on children.

Why choose San Diego Divorce Mediation Center?
     We provide a safe and private environment in which to meet. We strive to create an atmosphere of fairness and mutual respect. We understand how difficult this time in your lives is and we provide the support you need.

Why choose a Certified Family Law Specialist?
     The California State Bar certifies attorneys to be Certified Family Law Specialists to help the public identify attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law; and to encourage the maintenance and improvement of attorney competence in specialized fields of law. There are many important advantages to hiring a Certified Family Law Specialist:
bulletMake certain marital settlement agreements and pre- or post-nuptial agreements are properly prepared;
bulletIdentify tax issues which may affect the distribution of marital property and the payment of child, spousal or family support;
bulletHelp you effectively deal with complex legal issues involving community property laws;
bulletNegotiate or mediate the difficult and emotional issues relating to legal separation, dissolution of marriage and child custody;
bulletProtect clients who need restraining orders for domestic violence;
bulletHandle matters relating to modification of child custody, spousal support or child support;
bulletOffer a collaborative process enabling clients to resolve their issues without court intervention.


Choosing mediation over litigation is making the choice to maintain control over how and when your resources are used rather than surrendering control of important life decisions to someone who does not have to live with the consequences.

It's Not Too Late

Even if you have already started litigation, you can use mediation. Your attorneys can participate.

Ask For What You Need

Keep your focus on your needs and try to pay attention to "digging your heels in" as if doing battle. This needs to be a negotiation not a fight if success if really the goal.

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