Deciding to get a divorce is a challenging feat. It is a decision rarely taken lightly or done on a whim. We understand that every person will respond to this process differently. We’ve outlined the key steps to prepare for divorce mediation at West Coast Family Mediation Center.
Prep for Divorce Mediation: Step By Step Considerations
Before beginning the divorce mediation process, it is essential to understand how the process works to avoid confusion.
Step 1: What issues are important to discuss?
While it may seem simple, prioritizing the issues is the most challenging step when coming into mediation. The parties’ interests do not always align, and that is to be expected. However, preparing and compiling a list of issues or topics you would like to discuss ensures that the mediator addresses these topics and that you, as the client feel like the issue has been addressed.
While specific topics may only be covered in one session due to time constraints, providing your divorce mediator with all the information they need for a discussion allows them to create an agenda to ensure that all issues are addressed at some point in the process.
Step 2: How should I act in session?
In your sessions, emotions can run high, and reactions of parties that are not typical may also occur. Due to the nature of the discussions, it is of the utmost importance that all parties remain respectful and calm in their communication to allow for productive discussion. Should the mediator feel that the tone of the conversation has shifted negatively, the mediator will redirect the discussion until both parties can calmly discuss the issue at hand.
If you feel that communication begins to break down at any point in your session, please notify your mediator immediately so that they may work with you to get the discussion back on track.
Step 3: Do I have to listen to the other party if I disagree?
As in step two, both parties must be respectful and open to listening to either party’s opinion or agreement proposal. While there may be proposals that take time to pique a party’s interest, please consider and ask the mediator for suggestions to make the proposal fairer if you do not agree, or to come up with an alternative solution to resolve the issue.
The purpose of coming to mediation is the willingness to negotiate, and listening to the other party is crucial to that.
Step 4: What if documents need to be provided promptly?
Ensuring you independently come prepared to sessions with any documentation requested by our office, or the mediator will ensure no delays in your case. While we try our best to keep both parties on track, life happens, and sometimes, there is a delay in receipt of documentation. Please remember that participation by both parties throughout the entire process will help keep your case running smoothly.
Should you need further information regarding divorce mediation in California or additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office; we would be happy to provide you with more detailed information.
Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center for a free consultation, where you’ll receive our newly updated Divorce Mediation Handbook, encompassing a thorough review of all that you can expect as you move through this process with us.
by: Ahsha Mootz