One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is learning how to communicate with your ex-spouse to make important decisions. Because tensions are high, it’s often difficult to have a constructive conversation without the help of a third party. This is where divorce mediation comes in.
Divorce mediation is a communicative process where you and your ex-spouse meet with a neutral mediator to discuss the terms of your divorce. The mediator will help navigate the flow of the conversation and keep the sessions on track to discuss key topics, such as child custody arrangements, spousal support, and the division of property.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you have a successful mediation:
Tip 1: Be Prepared to Compromise
If you want mediation to be successful, you need to be open to making some concessions. This doesn’t mean giving in on everything, but you should be willing to budge on some issues. For example, if you’re hoping to keep the family home, you may have to be open to giving up some other assets, such as a retirement account. Both parties need to be willing to give and take if they both value mediation as a successful catalyst to move on with their lives.
Tip 2: Keep an Open Mind
It’s important to go into mediation with an open mind and be willing to hear your ex-spouse’s perspective. An open mind refers to the willingness to consider different solutions and perspectives and the flexibility to change your own perspective if presented with a better option.
It can be easy to get caught up in your own emotions and what you want, but it’s essential to remember that there are two sides to every story. If you can approach mediation with the goal of understanding your ex-spouse’s point of view, it will go a long way toward reaching a compromise that works for both of you.
Tip 3: Communicate With the Mediator
Don’t forget to communicate your needs and wants clearly to your mediator. It’s their job to help you reach an agreement, but they can’t do that if they don’t know what you’re hoping to achieve. Be highly specific when discussing your goals for mediation and what you’re willing to compromise on. This will help the mediator understand where you stand and what needs to be done to help you reach an agreement.
Tip 4: Be Respectful
Divorce is an understandably emotional process, so it can be easy to say things that you don’t genuinely mean in the heat of the moment. It’s important to remember that mediation is a constructive process, and name-calling or personal attacks will only serve to derail the conversation. If you can approach mediation with respect for your ex-spouse and the process, it will go a long way in helping you reach a successful agreement.
Tip 5: Take Your Time
There’s no need to rush into mediation. If you’re not ready, it’s perfectly fine to take a step back and wait until you’re in a better frame of mind. Once you’re ready to start, remember that mediation is a process, and it will take time to work through all the issues. Be patient and give yourselves the time you need to dive deep into the conversation and reach a common ground that works for both of you.
Tip 6: Keep Your Emotions in Check
It’s important to keep your emotions in check as much as you can during mediation. This can be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with a sensitive issue, such as child custody. But it’s important to keep in the back of your mind that mediation is a process of negotiation and getting angry or emotional will only serve to derail the conversation. If you can approach mediation with a level head, it will be much easier to reach a compromise that works for both parties.
Tip 7: Ask Questions to Clarify
If something is confusing or unclear, be sure to ask questions to clarify. It’s important that both parties are on the same page and understand the agreement that is being reached. For example, if you’re not sure how a particular asset will be divided, be sure to ask questions to get clarification and ensure that you agree with the proposed plan. Otherwise, you will find out later on that there was a misunderstanding and that the handling of the asset in question was not what you had agreed to.
If you have other questions, don’t be afraid to ask them. The mediator is there to help facilitate the conversation, and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Tip 8: Get Everything in Writing
Once you’ve reached an agreement, be sure to get everything in writing. This will ensure both parting spouses understand the terms of the agreement and that there is no confusion down the road. It’s also recommended for a lawyer to look over the agreement to make sure it is fair and equitable for both parties. This tangible record of the agreement will help to prevent any disputes that may arise in the future.
Tip 9: Follow Up
After the mediation is over, it’s important to follow up with your ex-spouse to make sure that they are adhering to the terms of the agreement. This is especially important if there are children involved. If you have any concerns, be sure to raise them with your ex-spouse in a respectful and constructive manner. If you find that there are problems with the agreement, don’t hesitate to reach out to the mediator for more help.
By following these tips, you can approach mediation with confidence and a better chance of success. Remember, mediation is a process, and it will take time to work through all the issues. But if you can approach it with respect and a level head, you will be much more likely to reach an agreement that works for both of you. Contact a Springfield divorce and family law attorney today for more information on mediation and how it can help you.