Four Key Steps in the Mediation Process
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce but you wish to remain on relatively good terms, divorce mediation might be the best approach for settling your differences and finalizing your divorce. Our experienced team of Irvine family mediation lawyers can assist you with navigating your proceedings.
There are four key steps to a successful mediation, and following these steps carefully and patiently with your attorney is the best way to ensure your divorce goes smoothly. Below, we discuss those steps in greater detail.
The Introductory Meeting
In the initial mediation meeting, the goal is to make each party feel comfortable with the road ahead. The mediator will typically introduce themselves to the parties, explain their role in the proceedings, and express their neutrality concerning the outcome of the mediation. Usually, your Irvine family mediation lawyers will have delivered a series of documents detailing the particulars of your divorce with respect to asset division, custody arrangements, and so on. The mediator will state what they believe are the issues involved in your case and outline the process for solving them.
State the Problem
In your next meeting, the mediator will state each issue involved in the divorce and allow each party to tell their side of the story. This stage of the mediation is best approached by being respectful and allowing your soon-to-be former spouse to speak without interruption. Then, when it’s your turn, you can expect to make your argument and allow the mediator to come to their own conclusions about the best path forward for you and your spouse.
After these initial meetings, the mediator will get to work reviewing critical documents that demonstrate what’s at stake in your divorce. These documents are generally prepared by your legal team and will include a brief that details the facts and evidence. These documents might include accounts, appraisals, bank statements, proof of bad behavior, like adultery or overspending, and more. After the mediator has reviewed those documents, he will likely contact each party to ask follow-up questions and obtain more information. Doing so allows the mediator to minimize each party’s emotions and get to a plausible solution.
Once the mediator has come to a solution that he believes can work, he will propose this solution to the parties, and the bargaining will kick off from there. In this stage, each party negotiates for what they want, and the mediator essentially keeps those negotiations in check. Knowing what he knows, he can make calculated suggestions when he believes one party is overstepping their boundaries. This stage of the process can be done with each party present or one-on-one, depending on the needs of each couple.
Call Our Irvine Family Mediation Lawyers
Even in an amicable divorce mediation, you’re going to want a trusted legal team on your side. Contact our Irvine family mediation lawyers today to get started.