Teeing Up A Successful Divorce Mediation: Five Tips

Divorce mediation is a process, an opportunity to work out a resolution of some or all aspects of a divorce.

Not all divorces can be resolved without a court, but many do work out their own solutions for a variety of reasons:  cost of litigation, time spent in the legal process, the stress of the divorce process itself, the needs of the children who need stability sooner rather than later….and the list goes on.  So, what contributes to a successful divorce mediation?

Tip One.    Be prepared.

Be prepared to discuss dollars, values, schedules, and more.  Even if you have a legion of divorce professionals representing and advising you, create cheat sheets.  Bring a calendar.  Bring a calculator.  Have a working knowledge of the moving parts.

Tip Two.  Be motivated.

When both parties to a divorce mediation are motivated to move on with their lives, bring stability to the children, or at least some desire to get out of a rut, the results in mediation – where everyone has set aside time to work out the issues – can be swift.

Tip Three.  Bring Three Ideas for You and Three Ideas for Him/Her.

Before you get to the mediation session itself, a party should have sketched out at least three scenarios that would be acceptable to him or her.  Then, do the same from the other party’s perspective.  This second step is what professional negotiators do to maximize their strategy and to consider ways to encourage/entice the other side to go along with their proposal.  It is often the step skipped by divorcing parties (and, tragically, by their legal counsel).

Tip Four.   Let Go of  “Why.”

Too often, parties in mediation spend time in the dispute as if they were still married, trying to convince the other person that their reasons for X is right.   In divorce mediation, the parties do not have to agree on “why” they have agreed to do something.   That can be liberating.

Tip Five.  Bring Comforts.

Mediation sessions can be long.  Bring snacks, beverages, medicines, lower-back pillow for office chairs or other items that you may need to be physically comfortable.   Also, know that you can suspend the mediation and reconvene later if an emergency occurs or you become too tired to make good decisions.

There are other significant steps that can be taken to tee-up a successful mediation, but these five tips above certainly can put you on the path to making the most of your opportunity at your divorce mediation.



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