So, you’ve chosen the path of divorce mediation. We hope you are on your way to a peaceful settlement. If your mediation sessions aren’t amicable, things could quickly go awry.
Couples often lack preparation, can’t seem to collaborate on family matters, or simply don’t trust the mediation process. And when mediation ultimately fails, litigation is usually the more expensive and time-consuming alternative.
Upon entering the courtroom, you’ll be placing your family’s future in the hands of a judge rather than you and your spouse. But through collaboration, those decisions can rightfully be left to you and you alone. Ensure that your divorce mediation sessions are as productive as possible to keep your divorce from reaching the ever-intimidating courtroom.
1. Be Amply Prepared
The best way to move the mediation process forward, like many things, is preparation. The process will feel far less stressful and tedious if you know what you’re walking into. You can do so by working with your Orange County divorce lawyer and gathering the necessary information. Plus, by staying organized and knowing what to expect, you’ll be more prepared to respond out of logic than emotion. This gains the trust of both your ex-spouse and mediator, allowing you all to collaborate towards a shared solution.
By taking a few preparative measures, you’ll feel far more comfortable once sessions have started. Here are some preparations we’d suggest making prior to your first mediation session:
- Have all family and marital paperwork organized in advance
- Make a list of your priorities
- Ask your lawyer about how the mediation process proceeds
2. Choose Collaboration
There’s a clear reason why you chose divorce mediation as your route to finalization. Your divorce could be low-conflict and amicable, allowing you and your ex-spouse to amiably decide on your family’s future. Or, you may agree on some issues, such as visitation time, but disagree on who decides where the kids go to school. However, marriages that are starkly high in conflict warrant litigation for a reason: they can’t collaborate.
Mediation focuses on peaceful settlements that keep the family together. In other words, it’s not about winning or getting the house, car, and kids. It only works if you and your spouse can put the pain aside to solve marital issues affecting your entire family. So, choose collaboration rather than being combative during your mediation sessions.
3. Follow Your Mediator’s Lead
During your divorce mediation sessions, think of your mediator as the conductor of conversation. They know how to steer conversations toward a more productive path and get combative discussions back on track, so place your trust in their abilities and refrain from speaking over anyone. If discussions get heated and your mediator attempts to bring the tension down, don’t fight them on it – you’re paying for their expertise, after all.
4. Trust the Power of Divorce Mediation
As mentioned in previous blogs, mediation offers a roster of benefits. It establishes settlements outside of court, meaning a judge won’t decide on your family’s future, and the timetable is typically shorter than traditional litigation. Not to mention the role mediation plays in preserving family ties. Keep these benefits in mind if sessions get difficult so that you’re not driven to the point of litigation.
5. Know When to Try Other Options
Mediation isn’t the only form of alternative dispute resolution, and it may not be best for you and your family. If you’re still uncertain about divorce, legal separation can give you the time you need to work out a custody and finance plan while keeping your marriage intact. And if collaboration just isn’t in the cards, it may be time to consider litigation with an Orange County divorce lawyer.
[H2] Mediate with an Orange County Divorce Lawyer
Have you attempted to collaborate with your co-parent to no avail? Consult an Orange County divorce attorney such as Jennifer Owens, Esq. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will help you achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services, or contact us online for a free consultation.