If you have chosen mediation over litigation for your divorce, you are far from alone. From saving money on legal costs to maintaining control over child custody, support and property division decisions, there are many reasons that couples opt for an out-of-court settlement instead of a drawn-out legal battle.
However, while mediation offers many benefits, the process may take work, patience and compromise on the part of both spouses.
Ensuring your mediator has all needed information and documentation well in advance is an important first step. Also important is preparing yourself, mentally and emotionally, to take a problem-solving approach rather than a combative one.
1. Stay on civil terms
Maintaining a friendly relationship with your spouse may be challenging, but it is important to the mediation process to at least remain civil. When emotions are running high, it can be easy to say things that distract from your mutual goal: finding a sensible path forward for the whole family.
2. Be prepared to disagree
It is rare for any two people to agree on everything, but during divorce even minor disagreements can become larger-than-life. During mediation, you will probably hear things you disagree with, but it is also important to the process that both spouses agree to at least hear each other out with respect and patience.
3. Focus on solving problems
When separating couples cannot agree to compromise, too often the focus of divorce becomes settling scores instead of solving problems. While divorce may feel impossibly painful in the present, remember that your goals, and your solutions, are in the future.