5 Tips for Winning a Divorce Mediation in California

The American Bar Association published an article with tips for a successful mediation, with content inspired by the best-selling book, “Getting to Yes.”  This article will summarize these mediation best practices, and the full story can be found here: 

  • Separate the person from the problem.

Both parties almost always have anger, resentment, and distrust of their ex, but for the purpose of negotiation those negative emotions – while often very justified—are not productive to getting what you want out of the negotiation.  Your ex’s personality is not going to change in the divorce.  However, if you can identify specific problems to be solved, then those may be negotiable.  

  • Develop options for mutual gain. 

The more options that are presented, the more likely it is that both parties can find an option that is palatable to everyone.  Look for options that are win-win for both people so that instead of a combat position, you are taking a problem-solving tact.  

  • Focus on interests, not positions. 

With a position approach, you have a winner and a loser.  With an interest-centered approach, you try to understand the interests of the other party and the goal is to achieve solutions not winners and losers.  When you take time to really listen to what makes the other side tick, then you will understand how to properly incentivize the behavior you want to achieve. 

  • Find objective material to lead to common understanding

Both parties can respond to objective material.  For example, if two parties value property or assets differently and neither will budge, then an assessor could be hired to provide data or internet research could be done to get objective information.  

  •   Focus on the best alternative to a focused agreement “BATNA.”

If you are trying to get everything you want in a negotiation, you are likely to fail.  If you identify what you really need and prioritize, then you are more likely to achieve those realistic goals through settlement. 

Consult with the Law Office of David Knecht

At the Law Office of David Knecht we have extensive experience with family law in California and can help you successfully negotiate a California divorce.  Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.