When a California couple decides to end their marriage, it often involves going to court. However, many couples would rather settle things out of court, thus making divorce mediation a viable option. Since a main goal of this type of settlement process is to negotiate agreeable and comprehensive terms in a nonconfrontational manner, it pays to brush up on one's negotiating skills ahead of time.
Spouses who wish to mediate their divorce agree beforehand to try to avoid litigation and focus on resolving all outstanding issues. A first logical step to take is to identify goals, interests and problems. Mediation typically covers a number of important topics, including property division, child custody, child support and more.
Once both parties understand where the other is coming from, they can begin to resolve the issues at hand. Being a good listener is a valuable tool. It is also a good idea to try to stay calm and speak respectfully to each other, especially since both spouses have already agreed to avoid confrontation.
Having a California family law attorney who is experienced in divorce mediation to facilitate negotiating sessions helps keep stress levels to a minimum. This form of alternative dispute resolution does not work in every divorce proceeding. If spouses find themselves unable to resolve their issues, a case can be converted to litigation, if necessary. While it is acceptable (and, in many cases, recommended) to retain an experienced attorney to advocate on one's behalf in court, it cannot be the same attorney who served as a mediator.