Be One of The Estimated 85% of Successful Mediation Participants
Family law litigants owe it to themselves to consider mediation as a process to resolve their disputes. At one point in time, the American Arbitration Association reports that over 85% of all mediations result in settlement.
Divorce Mediation Lawyers
Consider the many benefits that a Ventura divorce mediation lawyer provides
(3) expeditious settlement
(4) you control the decision maker instead of a third party.
It is a “no brainer” in many cases to start off with mediation rather than deal with the jam packed and clogged up California Court system. Family Court litigants are unlikely to obtain a hearing for family law motions (child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, contribution to attorney’s fees, exclusive use and possession of a car or home, etc.) before two to three months or longer. In contrast, it is not unusual for family law mediation participants to have the entirety of their case resolved in that same time period. It is not uncommon in litigation cases for the parties to spend more money on litigation fees and costs than the amount in controversy in the case.
Consider how you can become one of the estimated 85% of successful mediation participants. Keep the following in mind when you get started.
Understand that mediation is not getting everything you want, nor is it about the other party getting everything she wants. Being flexible and open minded is necessary.
Explaining Divorce Mediation
Be open. Explain clearly your needs and interests. Don’t just tell the mediator what your demands are but what your interests are. Without such information, the mediator will have a difficult time creating settlement opportunities because s/he will be limited to the “what” without the “why.”
Be prepared for the mediator to provide some criticism as well as support for your positions. Effective mediation generally requires some analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your positions. Understand that the mediator is not taking sides, but is merely providing you with an analysis of the law applied to your facts.
Beware of taking the view that the other party is more responsible for the conflict, and less credible, reasonable and/or trustworthy. Having a one-sided view of the world is not helpful in mediation because it tends to entrench a party’s position. Instead of ignoring what the other party has to say, be prepared to listen to the other party because you are likely to learn that the other party’s perceptions are starkly different from your own. Becoming aware of these major differences in perceptions is helpful because it is then that you may understand how difficult it is for a judge to make a decision in your case.
Be patient. While mediation is generally a much shorter process than formal litigation, it generally takes 4 to 8 sessions of 1 to 2 hours to resolve all family law issues. Also, each party needs an opportunity to be heard so that each party feels as though he is receiving a fair opportunity to explain his interests. In addition, it will also take some time for the mediator to learn all the important facts and legal positions in your case.
Finally, demonstrate respect for the other party. Mediation is not a blame game and it is not about points for put downs. Being tactful in your communications is important. Insulting the opposing party and then saying, “I was just being honest”, is not helpful. Instead, choose words that are considerate, but still get your honest point across. There are usually numerous ways to communicate the same point. Also, you should not interrupt the other party even when she is expressing an opinion or emotion you disagree with. Rolling your eyes, loud sighs or groans, laughing, and/or providing obscene gestures inhibit the mediation process. Avoid them.
Contact Our Ventura County Divorce Mediation Lawyers
If you enter mediation with the awareness of the above in mind, you should be well on your way to resolving your family law issues through the mediation process and you can avoid the financial and emotional turmoil of litigation.