Tips for Successful Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is an opportunity for couples going through a divorce to work out a resolution for different aspects of divorce, whether it be child support or custody, or financial discussions. Mediation can often serve as a great way for both parties to compromise on issues that they may have otherwise fought about or disagreed on.
If you are in the middle of a divorce and choose to pursue mediation as a way to reach agreements between you and your spouse, instead of letting the court make the decision for you, here are a few tips that will increase your chances of a successful outcome:
Before the mediation session, it is important to take care of yourself first. Come to the session well rested and with a positive attitude. Don’t hold onto any expectations, but anticipate a positive resolution and plan to act with respect and honesty.
Be aware that this process is a delicate one that will take time and discussion, so it is important to not rush through it. Hurrying the process can lead to an incomplete or inaccurate agreement, if one is reached. Be prepared to speak only for yourself, and be sure to listen openly to the perspective of the other party.
When you get the mediation session, you should bring any documentation with you that may be relevant. This includes school schedules for the children or yourself, bills, fee notices, doctor/therapist schedules or recommendations, bank statements, property titles, account statement or other financial items that may need to be considered.
You should also bring a list of questions or concerns that you want the mediator to address in the session. When conversation about these questions or concerns comes up, be sure to remain cordial and respectful of the different views on your concerns that your spouse may have. Acknowledge their feelings on the issues and listen to their concerns.
If children are involved in the marriage, be aware that the focus on the mediation is about developing plans that put the needs and best interests of the children first. This is not a time to be selfish.
Allow the mediator to facilitate the discussion, and do not interrupt or yell over them, no matter how strongly you may disagree. It is their job to manage the process and control the emotional climate of the session. If you need to speak to the mediator privately during the session or need a second to step out if it is becoming too much of a discussion for you, ask the mediator if you can step out to gather your thoughts.
Be prepared to be open and honest about everything that is asked of you, including financial questions. Hiding financial information could make it look like you are hiding something, which could result poorly for you when it comes to getting a fair settlement.
Overall, you should focus on how you wish for things to go from here on out. The past cannot be changed, so now all you can do is state your needs and wants for the future, and listen to the future needs and wants of your spouse. Coming to an agreement and compromise will work out for everyone in the long run, especially any children involved.
If you are in the middle of a divorce and are curious about your settlement options, including mediation, contact a Phoenix family law attorney at Thrush Law Group today.
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