If you are prepared to use family law mediation in California, it’s helpful to come with an open mind and be prepared for how the process is different from litigation. There are several mistakes that you can avoid in order to maximize the chances that you’ll be successful in mediation and to reduce the chances that any other problems could cause delays or gridlock.
First of all, don’t come to mediation with the mindset that the other party is your adversary. Even though family conflicts can get escalated to the point of legal action quickly, there are many reasons why you might wish to retain relationship with the other party after the dispute has been resolved. Mediation is a much better form for accomplishing this goal than litigation, but only if you view mediation as a different type of tool instead of going through the court. Going through the court, you are encouraged to prepare a strong a case as possible against the other party and to prove that you are in the right and they are in the wrong.
In mediation, especially when it comes to family disputes, it’s more likely that there are multiple issues at play in that both parties may have contributed in some sense to the conflict. Rather than focusing on what the other party has done wrong, focus on the key elements of the dispute that you think can be accomplished by successful mediation agreement.
Second, don’t get too hung up in your expectations of what you will walk out of the conflict with. While it’s unlikely that you will walk away with everything you had hoped, you are likely to resolve your conflict at a lower investment of your time and money.