4 Tips for Successful Divorce Mediation
Successful divorce mediation can result in both you and your ex-spouse coming to a divorce settlement that you can at least live with. In an ideal world, the result of divorce mediation will be a quick settlement that you both are happy with, that allows you both to get the things you want the most. Divorce mediation is often a better alternative to either litigating the divorce or trying to work out the agreement without the help of a mediator: it is less costly than a court trial and easier than going-it-alone and trying to agree. However, not every couple is successful at the process of divorce mediation, and sometimes that process can fail- leaving you worse off than where you started because you've now dragged the divorce on for longer, spent money on a mediator, and you still have to go to court. So, how can you make sure your divorce mediation is successful?
Tips for Successful Divorce Mediation
- Understand what mediation is - Mediation is not a trial or arbitration. The mediator is not going to rule on issues, pass judgment or compel evidence to be produced. He is a negotiator and he is there to help you and your spouse to share your interests and needs and to facilitate a meeting of the minds that will allow you to settle your custody division and property division yourself.
- Know what is most important to you - It is easier and faster if you go into divorce mediation with a clear focus on what you want most. You can then concentrate on getting those things and be willing to compromise on the less-important stuff in exchange.
- Be willing to listen - You may dislike your spouse- in fact, you may downright hate him or her.... but if you aren't willing to listen to him and compromise and have an open mind, you are wasting your time in mediation.
- Understand that compromise is key - The point of divorce mediation is to get you to agree on a settlement. Your spouse is not likely to agree to a settlement that gives you everything and that gives him or her nothing he wants. If you are willing to give in on the less important issues, you have a far better chance of arriving at a middle ground and actually having mediation work.
Another important key to successful divorce mediation is to work with an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Your attorney understands and knows what the law entitles you to during divorce, so he can help you decide if your demands and desires are fair and reasonable. He can also assist throughout the process of actually negotiating to ensure that you and your spouse are both treated fairly and that your emotions do not interfere with your ability to make a rational decision.