If you are opting for divorce mediation, it is likely because you hope to reap the practical and psychological benefits it offers. Mediation can save time and money; it can also dial down the level of negativity and help you communicate better.
However, some mistakes can undermine the process. If this happens, mediation may no longer serve as an effective solution, and you may need to continue via costly and anxiety-inducing litigation. Avoiding the following errors can help you make the most of mediation.
Maintaining an adversarial attitude
While amicable divorces do happen, it is also common for hostility and resentment to take over the parties’ emotions. This situation is not helped by the popular image of divorcing couples battling it out in court. Not only does such an attitude affect the couple, it can also inflict lasting harm on the children, whom divorce can already make psychologically vulnerable.
In mediation, however, you get results by hearing out the other person and constructively communicating your own position. Instead of viewing your soon-to-be ex as the enemy, approach the process in a spirit of collaboration and openness. This does not mean becoming a pushover. Focusing on achieving goals and coming to an agreement works better than aiming to destroy the other party.
Engaging in fraud or concealment
Some spouses may think mediation’s less formal settings may enable them to get away with misleading statements or hiding assets. When a party acts this way, the matter typically proceeds to court, where a judge can impose some serious consequences.
Posting on social media
Avoid assuming the lack of a court proceeding at this point means you do not need to worry about the information you publicize. Until you have an agreement the court approves, you have no guarantee the matter will continue to stay out of litigation. In any case, discussing the divorce or your ex’s character on social media can diminish the cooperative spirit of the mediation process. If you have children, it is even more important to refrain from attacking your ex or even venting about the situation publicaly.