Some Suggestions for Making Divorce Mediation Go More Smoothly
Divorce mediation is a beneficial process for couples who would like to reach a settlement agreement without the time and expense of litigation. Mediation is not for every couple, but even when it’s appropriate, participants can improve their chances of achieving positive results by keeping a few important points in mind:
- Don’t be rigid in your demands — Mediation requires give and take to reach a compromise that both parties can live with. If you are inflexible in discussions, there won’t be any progress. If you have legitimate reasons for demanding an issue go your way, such as well-founded concern for the safety of your children, you belong in court, not in mediation.
- Keep your emotions in check — It’s natural for divorcing spouses to have unresolved anger, but emotional displays derail discussions. If you are reasonable, your spouse is more likely to be reasonable.
- Stay in the present with an eye toward the future — Through divorce mediation, you are hoping to lay the groundwork for your future. It is not the time or place to dredge up the past, especially old slights that could sidetrack negotiations. If you must mention your spouse’s past shortcomings, make sure it is pertinent to a specific issue you are trying to resolve.
- Put your children’s needs ahead of your own — When discussing custody and visitation issues, put yourself in your children’s shoes. It’s likely they love both of their parents equally, so demanding that they spend the lion’s share of their time with you to the detriment of your spouse may wind up hurting them. You should also be aware that the court decides custody issues based on the best interests of the children. If you want court approval of your mediated agreement, you have to put your kids first.
- Do your homework — The more you prepare for each session, the greater your progress is likely to be. If you’re scheduled to discuss finances, gather and review your paperwork. Bring all pertinent documentation to your mediation session, so if disputes arise, you have hard evidence to settle the point and move on.
Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. has skilled attorney mediators ready to serve you. But your participation is vital to the success of the process. If you’d like more information on how divorce mediation can work for you, call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.