Divorce mediation is a way for couples to settle their issues outside of court, minimizing legal fees and saving time. There are plenty of reasons couples seek out mediation over court time but what about mediation requirements?
To get the most out of mediation, you should keep some basic requirements in mind. Here are some of the keys to a successful mediation.
1. Book a Consultation
Many mediators offer free consultations, during which they meet the couple and discuss each person’s goals. This is a good way to see if you are compatible with the mediator, or even whether mediation is the right choice for you.
A free consultation also gives you the chance to see what the mediator’s approach is. Some prefer to facilitate conversations, while others will take a more active role in the process. You may find out which style you prefer during a consultation.
It’s important to find a mediator that you and your spouse will be comfortable working with, and who is a good fit for both of you. Meeting in person, or digitally, will help you evaluate that. You can always try another mediator if it isn’t a good fit.
2. Financial Transparency
Mediation is your chance to make important legal decisions in an informal setting, and that’s what’s so appealing about it for many couples. However, that means you must trust your spouse, to be honest about finances and other matters.
Much of the divorce mediation process is focused on making important decisions about finances that will affect both spouses.
Your mediator cannot make a legal inquiry into your finances or your spouse’s. That means you should only go forward with mediation if you trust your spouse not to hide assets or financial records.
In order to successfully mediate your divorce, you and your spouse will both need to be completely transparent about your finances. You’ll need to trust that your spouse is bringing forth all relevant financial records, and your spouse will be trusting you to do the same.
3. Civil Conversations with Your Spouse
Many people struggle to communicate with their spouses during the divorce process. Conversations can quickly become heated. However, couples must be able to have a civil conversation with the help of their mediator.
Some mediators will meet with each person individually, but others will keep everyone in the same room for the entire mediation session. Mediation relies entirely on you and your spouse being able to find common ground and come to agreements.
If you think you and your spouse won’t be able to have conversations or agree on what is important, mediation may not be for you. High-conflict couples are not always the best candidates for mediation.
However, some high-conflict couples find that mediation, whether digital or in-person, enables them to focus on the important issues at hand. You may want to look for a mediator who specializes in high-conflict couples.
4. Willingness to Compromise
Mediation is all about discussing your needs and wants and finding a middle ground. It allows you to divorce amicably, and it’s important to keep an open mind during the process.
Both parties will probably have to make compromises during divorce in order to resolve things fairly. Your mediator can facilitate conversation and help you understand each others’ perspectives, but unfortunately, he or she cannot make the final decision for you.
This is why it’s important to come to mediation with a list of goals. Your spouse will also have his or her personal goals, and over the course of mediation, the goal is to accommodate each person’s needs.
Compromise from each person is essential to completing the mediation successfully. A mediator can help each of you determine where you are willing to compromise, and where your needs are firm.
5. No-Fault Divorce
Mediation works best when both parties have agreed to it and want to draft an agreement together. The mediation aspect can be done without lawyers at all until you need to file the settlement agreement in court.
If one person is claiming fault or has hired a lawyer, mediation may not be the best option for your situation. If you find yourself in this situation, consider hiring a lawyer to determine the best path forward.
That way, you and your spouse will be on an equal legal footing and will both receive personalized advice from a legal professional. A mediator will not offer specific advice to either of you, because they must stay neutral.
Instead, you’ll both state your needs and work toward an agreement that will meet as many as possible.
At the end of the process, you’ll draft an agreement together detailing your responsibilities and commitments for finances, childcare, and other issues. At this point, each of you may want to bring in a lawyer to assess the document and make sure the wording and terms benefit you.
6. Desire for Confidentiality
One of the benefits of mediation is the confidential nature of the sessions. The mediator and both spouses all agree to keep the things discussed confidential, often in a written agreement.
Things said during mediation can’t be used in any future court cases if the mediation is unsuccessful, which can make both parties more comfortable talking openly.
Unlike courtroom proceedings, there will be no written record of your conversations available to the public. This makes mediation an excellent choice if you and your spouse wish to keep the details of your assets and married life private.
Confidentiality makes it easier to discuss sensitive topics like child support, division of property and debt, and more. Mediation meetings are low-key and can even be done digitally. They are the perfect solution to your busy schedules and the desire for discretion.
Expert Divorce Mediation Services
Divorce Mediation of California charges one flat fee for our expert mediation services. We can help you settle your divorce quickly and file your documents at the courthouse on your behalf, saving you time and money.
For efficient and professional divorce mediation Anaheim services, contact us at Divorce Mediation of California today.