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Making Nice in Divorce Mediations

by Nancy Hudgins
October 2011

Civil Negotiation and Mediation by Nancy Hudgins

Nancy  Hudgins

Over the years, I’ve given and received lots of advice for how to act during a divorce mediation. Put simply, it can be summed up in two words: “Make nice.” (Thus, the olive branch, above.)

“Make nice” because your children will be better off for it.

“Make nice” because the alternative to divorce mediation is an expensive and nasty court fight.

“Make nice” because in taking the high road, you will feel better about yourself.

“Make nice” because it creates good karma.

“Make nice” because it makes your life easier.

“Make nice” because you will be happier.

“Make nice” because this is not a struggle to the death, it’s a transition to a new and happier life.

“Make nice” because it’s a true reflection of your authentic self.

“Make nice” because it will be reciprocated….eventually…if you live long enough.

“Make nice” because you want your children to be proud of you.

As parents, we are always modeling good behavior for our children. Making nice is a great opportunity to teach your kids that conflict and civility are not mutually exclusive.


Nancy Hudgins, a San Francisco mediator and lawyer, began specializing in civil litigation in the 1970's. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, chiefly in personal injury, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability lawsuits, but also in a wide variety of complex litigation, including civil rights, fraud and class actions. She has settled and mediated thousands of cases. In addition to civil litigation mediation, she also co-mediates divorces with John Duda, a marriage and family therapist.

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