Divorcing a spouse in California requires addressing various factors before officially ending your marriage. Examples include (but aren’t necessarily limited to):
You could allow the court to make decisions about these matters for you. However, doing so robs you of the chance to exercise control over the outcome.
It’s often best for all parties involved if two spouses can come to an agreement on these issues themselves before the court is forced to intervene. Mediation can facilitate this process.
Mediation has the potential to offer a range of benefits, such as:
- Allowing you to work towards a preferred goal instead of letting a judge take over
- Reducing stress
- Helping you maintain a civil relationship with your spouse
- Potentially reducing costs
The degree to which you take advantage of these benefits can vary depending on the degree to which you’re committed to the mediation process. To ensure mediation is as productive as it can be, keep the following tips in mind:
Focus on the Future
Some people enter into mediation without a full understanding of or appreciation for its purpose. They may almost treat it as a form of couple’s therapy in which they can attempt to address issues that affected their relationship before they chose to get a divorce.
It’s important to remember that the romantic part of your relationship is over when mediation has begun. Now, your focus should be on addressing future concerns.
Don’t Focus on ‘Winning’
Successful mediation virtually always involves both spouses making compromises. If you begin mediation understanding that you will need to compromise instead of emphasizing the importance of “winning” the battle, you’ll be more likely to have a relatively smooth and stress-free experience.
That said, you don’t want to be a pushover, giving up too much. A skilled lawyer and a professional mediator will ensure you’re not taken advantage of.
It doesn’t matter how upset you may be or how unfairly you’ve been treated—listening closely instead of interrupting your spouse throughout the mediation process is key. If your spouse is getting out of line, the mediator will address this, directing them back in a productive direction. If you interrupt your spouse when you should be listening, the mediator will remind you not to do so. You’re wasting everyone’s time (including your own) if you try to use a mediation session to air your personal grievances.
Mediation can be an extremely valuable tool that prevents a divorce from becoming needlessly messy. It’s best to think of mediation in this way throughout the experience. Focus on the positive, and feel free to let the mediator know you need to take a break if you feel that negative emotions are beginning to take over.
At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our Westlake Village mediator has seen numerous couples address what might otherwise be complex and painful topics successfully through this process. He knows those who benefit most from mediation are those who approach it with the right mindset. To learn more about what Ron K. Stitch can do for you, contact our office online or call us at 818-237-4574.