California couples who are divorcing might choose mediation as a way to resolve matters related to the end of the marriage such as child custody and support issues. Mediation can be a good option for couples who are looking to resolve these matters quickly, peacefully and in many cases more economically than in a drawn-out court battle. One way of helping to have a successful mediation is to prepare for the process.

During mediation, each party should prepare to truly listen to each other. While the needs and desires of each party are often different, there are times when both parties are seeking the same result. Additionally, listening carefully without attempting an immediate response can prevent the mediation process from failing. It is also important to be prepared to deal with a range of strong emotions, which can include anger, sadness and bitterness, related to the process.

Another way to prepare is financially when the issues that need to be resolved involve money. Each party should arrive with documentation that can support their argument for whatever type of settlement, division or support they are looking for. Having this at hand, as well as realistic expectations of what the other party might be seeking, might also help the process to continue smoothly. Finally, couples need to be prepared for a range of outcomes that might result from the mediation process, since the negotiation means there will be some give-and-take, seeking a result that is fair to both parties.

The mediator is a neutral third party who encourages the couple to come to an accord. Once an agreement is reached and reduced to writing, the couple should have their respective attorneys review it before it is signed and submitted to the court.