questions to ask a potential divorce mediatorGoing through a divorce is an emotional and challenging situation with many difficult decisions to be made. As a service that helps you peacefully reach a mutually beneficial agreement, mediation can balance this exhausting experience by providing both parties involved with professional guidance through conflict resolution.

By looking for a divorce mediator in San Diego, CA, you have probably already found basic information about the procedure and how it looks like. Having in mind the delicate nature of the entire process, it is only natural that, even if you are already considering the possibility of mediation, many questions to ask a potential divorce mediator arise. Here, we will answer some of them.


divorce mediators near meGoing through divorce affects the whole family, both the couple and their children. Some divorcing spouses manage to stay in control of the process, but for some, as time passes, it becomes harder and harder to communicate calmly and openly. Divorce mediators in San Diego can offer valuable advice on how to approach the situation. They take part in the process, offering much-needed assistance, especially when it comes to child custody. If you find yourself googling “divorce mediators near me” from your San Diego home or office, don’t worry, help is closer than you think.


Woman on an online call - Divorce mediation onlineDivorce is an emotionally draining experience for the spouses, and for the entire family as well. Now imagine the spouses in the divorce process living in different cities, or even different states.

The entire process becomes all the more difficult, and even if you choose mediation to ease the process, it may be difficult for San Diego mediation divorce services to be as effective as with spouses living in the same area. Luckily, divorce mediation online services exist for that reason, so let’s look what these services are, as well as their benefits.


Couple hiding faces with question marks - What happens in divorce mediationUnderstanding what San Diego divorce mediation services entail can seem daunting at first. It’s natural, since divorce mediation is still unfamiliar to many people. Some people don’t even know that there’s no need to enter a litigation to make sure their best interests are served. That is why it’s crucial to lay out what happens in divorce mediation, so you can clearly see all the benefits of this service.


Man sitting and writing - How to prepare for divorce mediationIf you are going through a divorce, you definitely want to consider divorce mediation services San Diego couples rely on to help them reach mutually beneficial agreements. Divorce is a complicated time, both from an emotional and practical standpoint, so even couples who separated on amicable terms need guidance from a professional.

If you have decided to hire a divorce mediator, you have made a positive first step. However, even with the best of intentions, you still need to know what the role of divorce mediators are, and how best to prepare for the sessions.


Man and Woman Shaking Hands - Best Divorce Mediator Near MeIf you are thinking of scheduling a divorce mediation session, you are about to take a step forward in coping with the divorce, and securing a stable future for yourself and your children after the divorce. You want to choose a divorce mediator San Diego residents know and trust. Just typing “best divorce mediator near me” in search may not be enough, though.

What you should do is get informed of the roles of a divorce mediator. Only then can you assess different mediators according to how effectively they will fulfill these roles to your greatest advantage.

Here are the essential roles of divorce mediators.


Parents holding hands of little baby daughter - Divorce and Co-ParentingDivorce is an unsettling time for both the partners who grew apart and especially (and often even more so) – for their children. Prior to deciding to get a divorce, parents may have argued in front of their children, or otherwise not knowingly made them a part of the arguments. Even without the heated arguments, disagreements and exchange of harsh words, divorce is difficult for a child to come to terms with.

That is why it is crucial that former partners (but still parents) take the time to reflect on what their relationship as co-parents will be. Divorce and co-parenting go hand in hand more often than not. Ground rules ought to be established on different matters, and it is crucial that co-parents are on the same page. The main reason for finding a common parenting style is to avoid sending out conflicting messages to the child. This is where a reliable divorce mediation San Diego expert can be of great help.

Initial steps co-parents should take

Former partners, now co-parents, should do a lot of thinking of their own even before stepping into the office of a divorce mediator. They should try and explain their preferred parenting philosophy to themselves first. There are some crucial questions to be answered:

What kind of a parent do I want to be moving forward? Is there anything I would like to change?

What parenting role models did I have growing up? Chances are I will fall back on the same parenting style I was exposed to if presented with a parenting challenge for the first time, so is there anything I resent about my own upbringing?

Am I prepared to trust my former partner with taking care of our child? And if not, what led me to distrust his/her parenting abilities? Can it be that the pain because of the end of our romantic relationship is clouding my judgment?

There is a lot of soul searching to be done, all with a single goal in mind: to reach the agreement that is in the best interest of the child.

Even though divorce mediation is a process aimed at helping co-parents find a solution they will both be satisfied with, they should be emotionally prepared to hear out one another during the mediation. This mindset is very important when entering a divorce mediation process.

Co-parenting is about mutual respect

As Alair Olson, a licensed marriage and family therapist, wrote in a particularly compassionate blog post on co-parenting, the relationship between the parents is an enormous influence on a child’s development, regardless of whether they are married, separated or divorced. It can be argued that married couples who argue in front of their children and treat each other with disdain and disrespect do more damage than divorced co-parents who treat each other with respect.

The whole point (as is the point of divorce mediation) is for co-parents to realize they can respect each other despite their differences. They may have conflicting views on co-parenting, which may even be one of the reasons for their separation. Still, it is their duty as parents to put their children first and see past their disagreements. The focus should be shifted away from their marital issues to their child. This seemingly small shift in focus often makes the biggest difference. All of a sudden, former spouses become partners again, as they join forces in planning the best co-parenting strategy.

Co-mediation and team divorce mediation

Divorce mediation does not try to resolve the issues between former partners so they could remain married. Instead, it aims to give them new perspective and help them feel comfortable in their new roles as co-parents. As said earlier, divorce and co-parenting are virtually inseparable, with co-parenting being a significantly more emotional issue to resolve that the division of joint assets.

Since the basic purpose of divorce mediation is to find mutually beneficial solutions for estranged spouses, it should provide the best possible environment for productive discussion. Unlike other divorce mediators, Pacific Coast Mediation provides a team approach to divorce mediation and discussions regarding the co-parenting plan, with a male and female mediator as well as an MFT if requested. By having a supportive team of mediators of both sexes, the risk of perceived bias of one gender is eliminated. In that way, a more professional setting is established, which also contributes to both parties seeing their issues less emotionally and more objectively.

Pacific Coast Mediation offers in-person and online divorce mediation. Contact us today and let’s work on mutually beneficial solutions together.



automatic temporary restraining ordersMost people don’t realize that when they file the paperwork for a divorce, in California, automatic temporary restraining orders (TROs) are triggered.

One of the initial forms that you must file is the Summons, otherwise known as FL-110. The second page of the Summons lays out all the TROs. They are important to note because if you choose not to comply, you could find yourself in hot water. When your spouse is served, these orders become active order preventing certain actions for both you and your spouse.

So tell me…What are these Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders?

Glad you asked. There are four of them, they include:

  1. You can’t remove any minor child from the state. Also, you cannot apply for a new passport for your child. If you want to do either of these, you need prior WRITTEN consent from your spouse or an order from the court. I just got a passport for my little guy and both parents have to be there, so…there is that.
  2. You can’t mess around with any insurance or take your spouse or child off the insurance. You can’t transfer it or change names or people insured. You can’t change beneficiaries…etc. This applies to all insurance, life, health, automobile, disability, all of it.
  3. You also cannot start to hide money and property. In fact, you can’t transfer or hide or encumber or dispose of any property, even if it is your own separate property without WRITTEN consent of your spouse or a court order. There are a couple of exceptions to this one, though. You can do any one of these things if it is either a) done in the normal course of business, or b) it is for the necessities of life.
  4. Finally, you cannot modify or create a non-probate transfer. What is that, you ask? If you don’t know, you probably don’t have one. It is basically a way to dispose of your property when you die where your property goes outside of probate and goes directly to a beneficiary.

The great thing about our mediation process is that your entire dissolution is, generally completed in 2-3 sessions. You can reach written agreements immediately about pressing issues and move on to get your entire dissolution settled. Deciding on mediation is such a good feeling. Can you imagine living under these automatic temporary restraining orders for years? Neither can I. If you are thinking about a divorce at this time. Think mediation. The hassle it saves begins at the filing.

hand-83079_1280A new study just out confirms what those of us in the industry already knew about…..divorce spikes at certain times of the year, you can bank on it! The University of Washington asked the question, Is Divorce Seasonal?…the answer is yes, yes it is.

If divorce spikes twice a year, when?

The study was a longitudinal study where researchers looked at divorce filings between 2000 and 2015. When they compiled their data they found that divorce spikes in March and August.

The idea is that during the Christmas holiday and Summer break, folks feel like they want to stick it out and make it work. The divorce cycle is based upon, what they termed a “domestic ritual” calendar. Both Christmas and summer are hopeful times where there is anticipation and exciting family gatherings and events to look forward to. Couples often believe that their relationship may be mended by these family times. There is an idea that this may bring on a new beginning. There is hope and optimism about the future. Hence, the rate of filing for a divorce during the Christmas season or at the start of summer is lower.

The divorce spikes don’t seem to match up to that timeline? What is up with that?

The researchers suggest that the spike in August is in response to summer disappointment and an attempt to file before the new school year begins. So, it would seem to follow that filings would be high around January, or February. How can they explain March? This is how…Despite, a supposed disappointing holiday season, there is no impetus to file quickly as there is in August. Also, after the holidays, it may take folks a while to get their finances in order. Makes sense, some Christmas’s were so good financially (that is, we adults went crazy gift giving), only to have a January that was lean and mean.

My suggestion is that if you find yourself this month, or next March feeling like divorce is an option, don’t just go file, consider mediation. Divorce is real and you are not alone, obviously. Thinking through your options before reacting to gut instinct immediately will often save you in the long run.


I have a terrible habit I have to admit to you. I love television. I grew up in the 1980s. What can I say? That is why I get excited when I see a new show on television and especially excited when it is  in our industry. A “Divorce” TV show has me intrigued. You?

So, even if a “Divorce” TV show sounds….well depressing? This one doesn’t seem to be. I didn’t even have to read two paragraphs into the storyline and I was hooked.

Top reasons to check out the new HBO “Divorce” TV show

  1. It stars Sarah Jessica Parker: She is a sell, period….from Hocus Pocus to Footloose to Sex in the City, she is incredible. The fact that the show starred such a cool gal gave me pause for the next point.
  2. It isn’t all miserable: Yes, that needs to be said, especially with a show about divorce. The plot follows Frances and Robert, a middle aged couple with two children as they figure their way through this murky water, called divorce. A “Divorce” TV show may be drama material. Turns out, it is also a comedy.
  3. It gives a real look at a family in breakdown. SJP said she took inspiration from War of the Roses. Remember that really unbelievably nasty movie with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner? Me too, great acting…. but, some things you can never unsee.
  4. This is by far the best reason to check out HBO’s new “Divorce” TV show….They mediate. What a coup in a world full of divisiveness and discord. And…even amidst the discord ripe in this show, the characters are supposedly going to go through the entire mediation process for us to witness.

You all will need to check out the show and then check back with the blog. We will have to check back in to see how close this new show mirrors reality. I can’t wait!