California allows married couples to go through mediation to negotiate the terms of their divorce. It typically provides a better experience for the couple than going to court because they can keep more personal details of the marriage private. When both parties play a role in negotiating, they are more likely to follow the divorce settlement as well.
Mediation is faster and less expensive
The average contested divorce in California takes two and a half years. Divorce mediation takes less time and is approximately 10% of the cost of a contested divorce. It’s a collaborative process that strives to create the best deal possible for both sides, which reduces legal fees and stress.
Cooperation from both sides is key
For a successful mediation, you should go into it with a win-win mindset, not a win-lose mindset. Keep yourself calm during the process and avoid passive-aggressive behavior or remarks. Your spouse will likely become defensive if you try pressing their buttons or make passive-aggressive comments. This will make it less likely that you get the best possible deal and could result in a failed mediation.
The mediator steps in if emotions start getting out of control to help calm down the situation, but there is still only so much they can do to manage the situation. You and your spouse need to be willing participants for a successful mediation. If you have concerns about your ability to stay calm, you could see a therapist to learn techniques for regulating emotions and behaviors.
Ask for a break when you need one
You may ask for a short break during a mediation session if emotions begin to become difficult to manage. During your break, remind yourself of the positive outcome you want from the mediation.
Divorce mediation is an option you may want to take advantage of. It allows you and your spouse to maintain better privacy and cooperate on an agreement for a smoother divorce.