Successful Mediation Tips: Advice from a Divorce Attorney
If you’re going through a divorce in Temecula, chances are you’ll be required to attend mediation to try and settle the case before trial. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself beforehand to increase your chances of success. As a divorce attorney who’s helped hundreds of clients prepare for mediation and served as a mediator myself, I’ve got some tips for you.
Resetting Your Expectations for Successful Mediation
First, reset your expectations. In a successful mediation, both parties need to compromise. So, go in with an open mind and be prepared to bargain on issues that might sting a little. You want to come out of the mediation feeling relieved that you’ve achieved closure and are happy with the agreements you’ve reached.
The Importance of Preparation
Second, prepare, prepare, prepare. Spend the time and effort to prepare proposed final documents like a Parenting Plan, Child Support Order, and Asset and Debt Spreadsheet. That way, you can better understand the issues and negotiate them. Provide all the required financial documentation and any other evidence you might need to support your positions.
For financial issues, think through a series of offers you’re willing to make throughout the day of mediation. This will help you really think about potential proposals and details beforehand. Trust me, it’s not uncommon for a party to show up unprepared and waste everyone’s time.
Flexibility: The Key to Successful Mediation
Third, be flexible. The more flexible you can be, the better the chances of reaching agreements. Don’t arrive at mediation with a long list of positions you absolutely have to win. The more flexible you are, the more alternatives will arise for consideration.
Letting Go of Your Proposals and Negotiating Effectively
Fourth, don’t get too attached to your proposals. It’s common for a divorcing spouse to get attached to their opening proposal and view anything less as a failure. Remember, an opening proposal is just that – an opening. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve already worked through several scenarios and proposals.
Choosing Who to Listen to During Divorce Mediation
Fifth, be careful who you listen to. Bringing a trusted friend or family member to mediation can be helpful, but only if they have a calm temperament and can evaluate the entire chessboard. Also, consult with experts and make sure they’re available for mediation. It’s crucial to choose an attorney skilled at navigating the divorce process, reaching compromises, and being a creative thinker and problem solver.
Mediation can be an effective way to resolve your divorce and keep costs down. Just remember to reset your expectations, prepare, be flexible, don’t get too attached to your proposals, and be careful who you listen to. Good luck!