Mediation can make divorce easier, quicker and less costly. It also largely allows the divorcing couple the most freedom and control over their situation — far more so than what they’ll experience once a judge has to start making decisions for them.
However, mediation isn’t usually successful unless everyone involved is willing to work together for a positive outcome. Here are six tips that can help you make the mediation process work:
- Don’t try to prove your case for a divorce. Mediation isn’t about who is right and who is wrong. Drop whatever issues brought you to this point in your relationship with your spouse at the door and focus on the practical business of splitting up.
- Identify your wants versus your needs. You can’t negotiate from a position of strength unless you can identify what’s okay to sacrifice (your wants) from what could be a real sticking point (your needs).
- Play fair and put your cards on the table. Participate fully with the discovery process and don’t try to “game” your spouse or the mediator. It’s bound to backfire if you do.
- Go into mediation expecting it to work. If you go into the process expecting it to fail and thinking that you’ll wind up in litigation anyhow, that’s probably what will happen.
- Practice being cordial. You don’t have to be friendly toward the other party to be civil. By all means, you want to avoid “rattling your saber” just to provoke the other party. That could cause a quick end to any potential negotiations.
- Be reasonable about your expectations. Talk to your attorney first about what to expect from mediation, including how the process works and how long it takes. Knowing in advance that it could be an involved process with numerous meetings can help you avoid being discouraged.
Mediation can be a great alternative solution to a litigated divorce. If you’re ready to learn more, contact our office today.