Your marriage might have included a lot of arguing through the years. Maybe you started out like many other California couples in thinking that opposites attract, but you later determined that the attraction wore off and you and your spouse were drifting farther and farther apart. Then again, perhaps, you never really had a lot of confrontation with your spouse during your marriage, but the two of you met each other with the silent treatment every time a problem arose.
Neither of these dispute resolution styles are conducive to peaceful negotiation. However, if you and your spouse have decided to divorce but don't want to get entangled in litigation, you might be able to use mediation to resolve your differences. The process should work as long as you are both willing to discuss important issues to achieve a settlement agreement.
Issues that may cause obstacles during mediation sessions
To set the stage for divorce mediation, you and your spouse must agree to peacefully discuss your differences in order to resolve unsettled issues, such as child custody, property division or alimony. The following list includes several obstacles you'll want to avoid during mediation sessions:
- It's nearly impossible to peacefully negotiate an issue if either party is unwilling to listen to what the other has to say. Instead, it's best to approach sessions with a sincere desire to consider the other person's interests and opinions.
- Lack of preparation can be detrimental to accomplishing your goals in mediation. Perhaps, you'll be more successful if you plan ahead, mapping out each issue of importance and having an idea of what you wish to discuss step by step rather than trying to wing it.
- Negative comments, sarcasm or derogatory remarks have no place in amicable discussion. These types of pitfalls may cause mediation to fail, thus prompting a need to litigate your divorce instead.
- If you try to rush through mediation sessions, you might find it difficult to achieve a fair settlement. Skilled negotiation involves having patience and taking as much time as needed to hear both sides of an issue and to discuss possible solutions until both parties are satisfied that their needs will be met.
When you decided to file for divorce in a California court, you may have told your spouse that you wanted to settle things as swiftly and economically as possible so you both can leave the past behind and move on in life without causing a lot of stress for your children.
Divorce mediation may be the best option
If you are willing to agree to avoid confrontation and peacefully discuss your differences in a private setting rather than in a courtroom, scheduling mediation sessions may be a viable option to settle your divorce.
Mediation often takes less time than litigation and is typically much less expensive. It may be less stressful for children as well because they will have an opportunity to witness their parents working as a team to create terms of agreement regarding custody and parenting time rather than becoming entangled in a nasty court battle. Rest assured that you don't have to go it alone in negotiation sessions, and you can reach out for additional support to help facilitate meetings and protect your interests.