How to Emotionally Prepare for Divorce Mediation
Couples use divorce mediation to help them agree on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property distribution. You and your spouse are considering entering into divorce mediation as an alternative to litigation because you want to work together to find the best solutions for your family, rather than going through the expense and heartache of litigation only to have a judge make those decisions for you.
How do you prepare emotionally for divorce mediation? The experienced divorce mediation lawyers at SFS attorneys give you a step-by-step process in this informative article.
If you are considering divorce mediation, give us a call. We have helped couples resolve the issues arising from divorce for over forty years, and we can help you too.
Agree to Enter Mediation at the Start
If you and your spouse have agreed to enter into mediation, that is an important first step. It means you are both interested in finding an amicable way to negotiate and resolve the issues arising from divorce, and hopefully, also means you are both flexible and open to compromise.
Don’t Start with a Need to Win
Insisting on your solution with no room for negotiation and compromise is what causes divorce mediation to fail. Commit to coming to mediation with your ideal solution but remain open to the suggestions of your spouse and the mediator. Mediation is ideally about finding a solution that works well for both parties. Coming in with the predisposition of “winning” is not productive.
Set Goals & Establish What You Want
Considering all options, create your ideal solutions to the issues arising from your divorce and prepare to verbalize them. You must come to mediation with those solutions in mind so you have a starting point for negotiation.
Focus on the Future
Imagine what your life and your children’s lives could look like after your divorce. Try to also imagine your ex’s life if you achieve your ideal solutions through divorce mediation. This helps you hone your goals and understand your spouse’s position when they verbalize it during mediation.
Try to Understand Your Spouse’s Emotions
Divorce is an emotional process, and emotions may run high even during mediation. Your divorce mediation lawyer helps keep proceedings running smoothly if this is the case.
Even if you both appear calm during mediation, emotions may be driving the requests and goals of you both. Emotional attachments to “things” may drive demands regarding property distribution. A fear of losing the closeness of their parent-child relationship may drive demands regarding child custody. Resentment over an affair may drive demands regarding support.
Your divorce mediator will ask “Why?” frequently, to tease out the underlying reason for requests, demands, or refusals to compromise. Be patient and let the process take place knowing you are both feeling emotional.
Treat Mediation Like a Business Meeting
If possible, remain as emotionally distanced from the proceeding as possible, as if you were in a business meeting with professional colleagues. Avoid reacting if your spouse becomes upset or angry and allow the mediator to respond. .
You need to be fully informed of your financial situation prior to attending divorce mediation. Gather bank statements, bills, and investment and retirement account statements. Find out how much your house is worth by speaking with a realtor or getting an appraisal from a properly credentialed appraiser.
If you own a business, have family money, own collectibles or art, or have property out of state or in another country, consider working with a high asset divorce lawyer to understand your finances and craft a fair property settlement agreement.
If you have children, consider what parenting schedule would be best for them. That schedule is the one that is the least disruptive and stressful for them, and is in their best interest..
Take Care of Yourself
Divorce is stressful, although if you and your spouse agree to mediation some of that stress may be alleviated knowing you have a professional, neutral third party helping you. Regardless, be sure to practice self-care during this time. Get adequate sleep and nutrition. Exercise. Visit friends and family. Engage in activities you love.
Find the Right Divorce Mediator
You must be confident in the expertise and skill of your divorce mediation lawyer, and comfortable discussing your family’s issues with him or her. You will know in your very first meeting whether a divorce mediation lawyer is right for you.
Call the experienced divorce mediation lawyers at SFS Attorneys if you are considering divorce mediation. We look forward to meeting with you, discussing the process, and helping your family resolve the issues arising from divorce so you all can move on. In this post-Covid time, our mediations are generally conducted virtually.