When you look back on your marriage and, perhaps, even your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse prior to your wedding day, you might notice issues in retrospect that you chose to overlook at the time. For instance, was it always difficult to get your spouse to listen when you had something to say? Maybe you both had vastly different ideas about finances or raising a family in California, but you didn't think having differing opinions was uncommon and you decided to move ahead with your plans.
You wouldn't be the first person to say that hindsight brings 20/20 vision. Whether it was five, 10 or more years before you determined you'd rather move on in life without your spouse than stay in an unhappy relationship, your focus now is to protect your children's best interests and settle your divorce through mediation, if possible, because you want to avoid going to court.
Factors to consider ahead of time
Being willing to listen to each other is a key factor toward successful mediation. An experienced mediator can help facilitate peaceful discussion and make sure you have time to state your needs and goals regarding a divorce settlement and co-parenting plan. However, to accomplish such goals, you and your ex must agree to avoid confrontation and to compromise and cooperate as needed.
Honesty is another important factor when mediating a divorce. Is your spouse forthright when it comes to issues such as finances? Full disclosure is necessary in order to devise a fair property division agreement. If your spouse is trying to hide assets or isn't being upfront about debt or marital property, you may need the court's intervention to resolve the problem.
Do you have similar goals?
Before choosing a best course of action regarding your divorce, and more specifically, before you can determine if you're a good candidate for mediation, you'll want to ask yourself whether you and your spouse have similar goals. Do you both want to save time and money? Do you want to settle your divorce as amicably as possible?
Are you more concerned about showing your children that you're willing to work as a team of co-parents who have their best interests in mind rather than two opposing parties who will fight over every issue to get what they want? Divorce mediation requires a commitment to peaceful negotiation. The goal is to find common ground and work from there to resolve your differences. If you think you can do that, then mediation might be the best option in your case.