Mediation is a powerful tool for resolving conflicts and reaching agreements in a divorce. As you embark on the mediation process, it is important to set goals that can guide and shape the outcomes you hope to achieve.

When you set goals in your mediation it is an opportunity to frame your requirements as the process moves forward.  For instance, setting broad goals that guide through the process, broad goals such as having the children to feel as safe as possible while the family is going through the divorce and the clients expanding the financial opportunities to get a maximum result, are crucial goals in all mediation cases. Anchored to these goals, clients brainstorm and generate choices and it’s from these choices that the clients themselves generated that they can pick and choose from and come to an agreement that takes everyone’s best interest into account.

Completing financial disclosure documents is another important goal in all mediation cases, as it ensures transparency and enables informed decision-making. By setting these tangible goals, progress can be made, and you and your spouse can stay focused on accomplishing necessary tasks.

Another significant goal is maintaining open communication. While it may be tempting to avoid interacting with each other, particularly in contentious situations, fostering open lines of communication is highly beneficial. This is particularly true for divorcing couples with children, as effective communication allows for a good co-parenting relationship. However, even in cases without children, maintaining communication can help build understanding and compassion and promote a more cooperative atmosphere.

You should also communicate your specific post-divorce goals to the mediator at the beginning of the mediation process. This information is helpful, as it provides the mediator with a deeper understanding of you and your spouse’s aspirations and desires. With this additional knowledge, the mediator can better facilitate conversations and guide the participants towards a resolution. However, remember that the mediator’s role is not to take sides or advocate for one party’s interests. Rather, she aims to assist all parties in reaching a mutually agreeable outcome.

It is essential to approach goal setting in mediation with a clear understanding of its purpose. While participants may have personal goals, such as staying in the family home, it is important to recognize that mediators cannot favor one party over another and must act as neutral facilitators, helping you and your spouse explore your needs and interests and find common ground.

By establishing tangible goals, such as completing required documentation and promoting open communication, participants can make progress and work towards resolution. Revisiting the broad goals, the clients have set for themselves, goals such having the divorce be as positive of an experience for the children as possible and the clients having a complete control over the financial decisions they make that will result from the divorce, keeps clients anchored to reaching an outcome that they can both agree on. Additionally, sharing individual goals with the mediator allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the parties’ needs and desires, empowering the mediator to effectively guide discussions. Ultimately, mediation is a process that relies on the active participation and goal-oriented mindset of all parties involved.

Lynette Kim has over 25 years of experience as a family law attorney in California. The Kim Mediation and Law Center is located at 3701 Wilshire Blvd Suite 508 in Los Angeles, CA. To schedule an appointment call 213-351-1000 or contact us online.