When you and your spouse decided to divorce, you knew you'd have numerous issues to resolve before you could part ways and move on in life without each other. You also understood that, while you were ending your personal relationship, you'd always have a connection as co-parents of your children. For their sake, you both agreed that you wanted to settle your California divorce in a peaceful, swift and inexpensive way.
These are key factors that lead many spouses to choose divorce mediation instead of going to court. You and your spouse must agree on a few things ahead of time, such as doing your best to avoid confrontation. The whole purpose of mediation sessions is to provide a confidential, peaceful setting to work out the terms of your co-parenting, property division and other agreements.
Skills that help facilitate peaceful negotiation
In a perfect world, you and your spouse would agree on every issue in divorce, simply sign a bunch of papers, then say your good-byes. The reality is that you're likely to encounter several challenges, perhaps, concerning child custody, alimony or other important issues. The goal of mediation, however, is to use alternative forms of dispute resolution to settle your differences without going to court.
It's a good idea to treat mediation sessions as a business deal. This approach helps you avoid emotional provocation, especially if infidelity or some other highly emotional issue is a causal factor in your divorce. If you feel your emotions getting out of control, you can take a break from a session or redirect the discussion and come back to the troublesome topic later.
Everyone is supposed to win
When you agree to mediate your divorce, you go in with a mindset of achieving a settlement that has everyone's best interests in mind, especially your children's. Litigation, on the other hand, tends to be more of a win or lose situation. Mediating a divorce allows you to collaborate and work as a team to achieve a satisfactory result.
You can use time to your advantage in divorce mediation because you may schedule as many sessions as you need to resolve conflict. Mediation is known for being a means to divorce that saves people time and money, but that doesn't mean you must rush your way through negotiations. If you're not satisfied with a suggested solution to a particular issue, you can keep the discussion open until you are.
Your children may benefit as well
If your kids see that you and your ex are willing to cooperate and compromise to negotiate important issues, it shows them that you consider yourselves a parenting team, instead of adversaries. It also shows that you have their best interests in mind and are willing to work together to devise a plan that helps them cope with the changes divorce has prompted in their lives.