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Getting The Most From Divorce Mediation

Posted By Judy Williams || 21-Nov-2014

Why You Should Consider Mediation in Orange County

Divorce disputes can be draining, both emotionally and physically. Reaching an agreement can often cost more time and money than the settlement itself. With the help of a neutral third party, mediation is one way to avoid a messy courtroom battle. If you are unsure if mediation is right for you, consider the tips below.

Will Mediation Work For Me?

Are you looking to pursue a settlement or are you just wanting to “get a feel” on what your ex-spouse is hoping to gain in court? The mindset you have before entering a divorce negotiation will almost always determine your success. The purpose of any mediation is to reach a compromise, saving you the undue stress and cost of a legal battle. To do this effectively, you have to know where you stand before sitting down at the conference table. Think carefully about the issues that hold the most emotional, mental, or financial weight. Is it child visitation, parenting styles, or the equal distribution of property or other assets? Think about why these issues hold such importance to you and consider what you are willing to give up in return. If you aren’t willing to reach a compromise, then you’re not ready for mediation.

What Exactly Does a Mediator Do?

The role of a mediator is to facilitate an open discussion. A mediator will moderate the discussion by making sure certain key points are addressed; but one thing they will not do is give advice. Expecting them to do such will only complicate the process. Instead, communicate with your mediator before the process. Explain the goals you wish to reach well as any concerns or complex problems you hope to avoid. Or, send your mediator a list of your expectations so they do not walk into the discussion blind. A mediator will give you objective perspective and prepare you for a more realistic outcome.

What Information Do I Need Beforehand?

Never enter a settlement discussion unprepared. While mediation can be peaceful and efficient, agreements are not guaranteed. If the other party is either unwilling or unable to compromise, you will need the law on your side. Do you research ahead of time so you can explain why your demands are not only reasonable but legally defendable. If children are involved, it is highly recommended to research the custody division laws and patterns in your state. Also, understanding the financial reality of your situation will help you negotiate a more favorable settlement. If your spouse handled the bulk of financial decisions, consult an accountant or financial advisor to give you a full, accurate account of your assets.

If you want to avoid unnecessary and costly legal entanglements, mediation might be for you. In divorce cases, courts will often require mediation as a precursor to trial. But as is true in life, you get out of mediation what you put into it. Even if you’re unable to reach a final agreement, the process is valuable in that it helps isolate the most important areas of dispute, better preparing you for success in the courtroom.

Does it help to have a mediator who is also an experienced divorce lawyer?

The answer is: In Mediation a lawyer can’t give either of you legal advice, but can always answer your questions on how the law works in California, how the court usually treats certain questions or solutions, and suggest alternative ways to best solve difficult issues. And mediation is always less stressful and less costly.

To learn more about divorce mediation and whether or not it is right for you contact The Center for Mediated Divorce in Irvine, California. Dial 888-614-0171 for a free consultation.

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