Tips for Mediating in Good Faith

San Francisco mediation attorneysAt Rubin & Levavi, P. C., we believe that mediation is one of the most effective routes you can take when moving forward with a California divorce. Understandably, the idea of sitting down and negotiation with you soon-to-be ex might not sound the least bit appealing, but the truth is that it is often the best way to protect your interests.

To help make the talks more effective (and tolerable), we’ve compiled a short list of tips to keep in mind as you engage in mediation proceedings with your ex-partner. Your goal should be to approach the discussions in good faith and with good intent. For better or for worse, you two will need to work together now and in the near future, especially if children are involved.

Don’t Backtrack on Initial Agreements

It isn’t uncommon for feuding couples to start discussing potential terms even before formal discussions begin. If you’ve found common ground before or during the mediation proceedings themselves, don’t go back on any of your agreements. Effective mediation is a result of collaborative efforts, and betraying your “teammate” will instantly destroy any potential goodwill between you two. Once trust has been broken, it’s nearly impossible to get it back in these types of negotiations.

Make Sure the Reason for a Modification or Change is Valid

That said, there are times where the situation demands a revisit of the agreed-upon terms. For example, the court might have handed down a ruling which changed circumstances, new evidence might have been uncovered, unexpected life changes might have disrupted previous plans, and more. The key is to ensure that your reasoning is valid and fair to all involved parties.

Always Maintain Open, Honest Communication

Finally, don’t risk losing your line of communication and be sure to convey your needs clearly. It’s crucial for boths sides to approach the negotiation table with honesty in mind, as this lets both parties consider the needs/wants of the other and ensures that everyone is on the same page since day one.

Mediation isn’t always a simple process, but you and your ex can take steps to help guide the negotiations towards a mutually-favorable outcome. That being said, you should never approach any formal discussion without first talking to a qualified family law attorney.

We hope this post proved useful as you move forward with your divorce proceedings in California. Want to learn more about mediation, divorce, child custody disputes, or anything else involving family law in California? Call us directly at Rubin & Levavi, P. C. We offer free initial consultations, where we can discuss your specific legal needs at length.