Orange County Divorce Mediator Lani Baron shares keys to a successful divorce mediation:
Keys to a Successful Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is a delicate process. The divorce mediator or divorce mediation attorney must really pay attention to the details and personalities involved for the process to be successful. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our team of trained divorce mediation attorneys and paralegals do just that. Here is what we think is important:
Your divorce mediation attorney must do everything he or she can to create a trusting relationship with the clients. Divorce is a sensitive topic and in order for the divorce mediation attorney to help the couple come up with options, he or she must understand what is important to the clients. To develop this level of understanding, the clients have to feel comfortable with the divorce mediation attorney.
A lot of the trust building comes through communication. Another part of this is through developing boundaries for communication between the spouses. The divorce mediation attorney should set ground rules, from the beginning of the process, that guide the couple’s conversations.
Trust and communication go hand in hand, as you really can’t have one without the other. In order for a settlement to take place, there needs to be clear and honest communication about the wants and needs of each spouse. If these things are not communicated, there is no way for the divorce mediation attorney or the other spouse to know them.
We can appreciate that divorce is an emotionally challenging time in your life. It is possible that you are angry with your spouse or deeply saddened by his or her behavior during the divorce. This is normal. Even in the midst of this challenge, however, it is important to treat your spouse in a respectful manner. The way you handle a situation like divorce is a test of your character, and if you are able to keep your composure it will only help your chances of success in mediation.
4. Full Disclosure
Yes, you have heard this before. In order for divorce mediation to be successful, there must be a full disclosure of both spouses’ finances. This includes, but may not be limited to, real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit card statements, etc. These documents do not get filed with the court if you are in mediation, however, it is important that both you and your spouse know what assets there are and how many before you agree to anything.
Everyone comes into the divorce mediation process with their ideal version of what they would like to happen. Sometimes, they want the house, car, or retirement. In divorce mediation, however, we base the discussions on fairness to both parties. This means that in order for you to reach an agreement, your spouse has to think what you are proposing is fair too. Often, compromises need to be made for settlements to be successful. You and your spouse will need to cooperate with one another and your divorce mediator so you can reach a settlement that works for everyone involved.