Tips for Getting Over Roadblocks to a Successful Divorce Mediation
There are many benefits to choosing mediation over litigation in a divorce. The process often costs less, takes less time and encourages open and honest communication between the parties. However, mediation is not always smooth sailing. Spouses and mediators may come upon a few common hurdles when aiming to arrive at fair resolutions that can satisfy all parties.
Perhaps the most significant roadblock is failure to disclose information. Lack of forthrightness by either party can make it impossible for mediators to work out equitable compromises on such matters as property division, alimony and child custody and visitation. Not only financial assets but also personal information must be fully disclosed, since both may have a bearing on negotiations.
Mediation can also be impeded by a misunderstanding of the process. If either spouse enters mediation with the idea that they want to “win” rather than to reach a fair compromise, they can prevent discussions from being productive.
In the same way, parties may let anger and resentment get in the way. Keeping a clear head and putting aside emotional considerations can make you better able to make decisions based on your best interests and those of your family.
Another major impediment to successful mediation is lack of preparation. Both parties should have worked out a settlement model in advance, namely, an outline of goals to be achieved in the process. This provides a measurement tool for making and evaluating proposals during negotiations. The more forethought that each party gives to their needs and expectations, the better the chance that the parties can find common ground.
A settlement model should be devised by compiling the evidence and information you need to assert your position. If you or your child has particular needs or expenses, bring in records that can provide a basis for including them in a settlement. If you want to make sure your homemaking and childcare contributions to the marriage are valued appropriately in property division, consider putting together a list and description of the duties you performed to keep your marital home in order.
Mediation is not a magical solution to avoid all difficulty and get what you want. But it can provide a much smoother path to divorce resolution than litigation. From the Melville, New York office of Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc., our mediation professionals provide alternative dispute resolution for couples on Long Island and throughout the Greater New York City area. To request a free legal consultation, call 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online.