The idea behind mediation in a divorce or other family law case is that two people can come together and make a compromise.
Sometimes, mediation can help spouses or others who want an amicable split but just need the mediator’s help to iron out details. This step helps ensure that the final agreement is clear and unlikely to lead to conflict down the road.
At other times, people may be open to agreeing in general and see the advantage to staying out of the courtroom. However, there are some specific issues that they may need help resolving.
In other cases, though, one or both parties, spouses or parents for example, may fit the label as a high conflict individual. As the name implies, high conflict individuals see little value in compromise. They have a strong preference for being right and for winning.
Obviously, a high conflict individual makes mediation more difficult since the whole point of the process is to reach an agreement in which there is naturally some give and take.
The right approach to mediation can work in a high conflict case
This being said, a resident of Santa Rosa or the surrounding Wine Country should not give up on the possibility of mediating a dispute just because someone involved tends to prefer conflict.
A skilled mediator can use innovative techniques in order to work with a high conflict individual to resolve a dispute.
For example, a technique called integrative mediation involves a mental health professional and a licensed neutral attorney teaming up to mediate a family law case.
Unfortunately, not every mediation is successful. That being said, many mediations succeed even when emotions are running high and the incentive to negotiate is low.
Even so-called unsuccessful mediations still can set the couple on the right track toward a settlement down the road.
A California resident who is concerned about mediating with a high conflict individual should not be afraid at least to explore the option.