California allows mediation for divorcing couples as a way they can have more control over the details of their divorce. Mediation involves negotiating the terms of your divorce with a neutral attorney facilitating the discussion. The attorney can let you know about your different options in dividing property and setting up a co-parenting schedule. Because they have experience with divorce mediation, they can give you ideas you wouldn’t have thought of. To get the most out of mediation, avoid making the following mistakes.
Successful divorce mediation takes a win-win approach not a win-lose. The mediator can only do so much for the couple. You and your spouse should try to find a solution that both of you are happy with despite any animosity you may have toward each other. For the sake of getting the best deal possible, put aside the negative emotions. Remember that if you were to go to court, you’d probably get a less ideal solution because the judge is making the decisions. Keeping this in mind can make it easier to have a win-win mentality.
Attempting to anger your spouse
By the time a couple is in the stages of divorce, they may intentionally push each other’s buttons out of spite. As upset as you may be, it’s best to let it go for the sake of your own happiness and getting a better deal out of mediation. Judges will take your behavior into consideration when they make decisions on child custody, alimony and property division. If your mediation fails, a judge will make the decisions.
Using the children
Children are a sensitive topic for parents, so don’t try using the kids as a bargaining chip or to trigger your spouse. When it comes time to discuss child custody and visitation schedules, allow the mediator to productively guide the conversation. They will have good ideas to find a solution that works for both parents. If your spouse is abusive toward the kids, however, you shouldn’t hide this for the sake of peace. Gather evidence to back up your claims.
Failing to speak up
Another common mistake people make during divorce mediation is not actively participating in it. You should be honest about what your preferences are. With your honesty, the mediator can help you and your spouse draft a plan that benefits both of you as much as possible.
Divorce mediation is less expensive than going to court and gives you a better deal because you’re actively involved in the decision-making. However, it’s important to manage your emotions and stay fair during mediation for negotiations to go well. There is some give and take involved.