If you’re getting a divorce in California, entering into mediation can help you and your spouse address such issues as alimony, child support, and more in a civil environment. This is often preferable to forcing the court to address these issues on your behalf. Additionally, in some circumstances, such as child custody disputes, the court may require spouses to try mediation first.
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party facilitates discussion and negotiation between two spouses. Its benefits include:
To prepare for mediation, you should:
Start by listing the issues you believe need to be addressed in mediation. These are likely going to be topics that you and your spouse have been unable to come to agreements on yourselves.
For example, maybe you believe you deserve to receive alimony, but you als
It’s unwise to enter into mediation with the goal of “winning.” The vast majority of the time, both spouses will have to make compromises for mediation to be successful.
If possible, you don’t want to compromise on issues that are most important to you. On the other hand, you don’t want to waste your time and money dragging the mediation process out by refusing to budge when it might be best to make concessions.
After listing the various items and topics you plan on addressing in mediation, rank them according to priority. For instance, you might be adamant that you want a certain amount of visitation time with your children. On the other hand, although there may be certain marital property you’d rather hold onto if you can after the divorce, this might be something you’re willing to be flexible on.
Mediation should be a positive process for everyone. While it may not always be “fun,” it should be less unpleasant than bitterly arguing with your spouse or simply waiting to find out how the court handles your various disputes. In the long run, mediation should also prevent a divorce from being messier and uglier than is necessary.
You don’t want negative emotions to influence your experience during mediation sessions. Now is not the time to fight about personal issues. Thus, it’s best to prepare for mediation by learning to remain calm when you begin to grow angry or frustrated. You certainly don’t want to speak out of anger during a mediation session.
Along with following the advice here, you can improve your chances of getting the most out of mediation by choosing the right mediator. At the Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers, a Los Angeles divorce mediation specialist is available to guide you through this process. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 213-236-4400.