Bohm Wildish :: Irvine, California Divorce Attorneys – Many divorcing couples admit to not understanding divorce mediation. Is it the same thing as hiring an attorney? What purpose does it serve? Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution, a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters. Divorce mediation can be an extremely helpful tool, paired with an experienced family law attorney, for many couples in California. We know several divorce mediators in Orange County and Los Angeles. Many couples that visit our Irvine office and our LA office are looking to hire an attorney and a mediator, and it’s usually a great option.
Heath Newton, attorneys in northern California, recently blogged about a few ways divorce mediation can be most useful, and we thought we would share that information.
1- Prepare. Divorce mediation is only successful if both parties are thoroughly prepared. It isn’t a therapy session to let out all your feelings and not accomplish something tangible. Each party needs to go into the mediation knowing what he/she wants and ready to come to a resolution. Consult with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney to advise you on your legal rights before you begin mediation. We have attorneys in Los Angeles and Orange County (Irvine).
2- Choose a great mediator. You should spend time looking for the right person. Choose someone who has experience, who you feel comfortable with, and someone who is very familiar with the California divorce process. There are many mediators in Orange County and LA (and most counties around the nation), and you shouldn’t necessarily pick the first one you meet or the first one that pops up in a Google search.
3- Increase the size of the pie. A great mediator can reveal opportunities in the divorce that weren’t there before. He/she should be able to find a win/win. Each party might see only a win/lose situation before mediation, but that’s the beauty of it. There is usually a resolution that the third party mediator can find where each party will feel satisfied.
4- Remain flexible. It’s not an easy process, and certainly not one that will be successful if two stubborn individuals walk into a mediation. Feel free to explore lots of options. Brainstorm ideas that your spouse wants to discuss even if you don’t think it’s a good idea, just to play out the situation. Focus on your needs, not your wants. Don’t rush the process, and only sign once you’re satisfied.
5- Listen to your spouse. Too many couples enter into mediation not caring what the other person has to say. That defeats the purpose. Just as you expect him/her to listen to you, hear what he/se os saying to better understand the other perspective. This will make the entire divorce process much smoother.