Attorney Tips for Divorce Mediation

Divorce, Family Law, Mark Schondorf

Rather than the conventional divorce litigation process, couples may choose to use divorce mediation to settle the critical issues of their divorce to their mutual satisfaction. Although it can be a challenging procedure, it is mostly more agreeable and cheaper than litigation. 

A mediator will work with both parties during the divorce mediation process to decide how to finalize issues such as the distribution of assets and debts. It is an excellent way to resolve differences without going at each other in court. 

You should know, however, that mediation is not for everyone. If, for example, there are issues around abuse, you may want to get the compensation and protection that only a court-ruled decision can give. Before making a final decision on going on with divorce mediation, you may want to consider if it is your best option and will yield the results you need. 

What You Should Know About Divorce Mediation

Some people get unsure about how much they want a third party involved in their divorce. You should know that the extent to which your divorce mediator gets involved in your process depends on the kind of mediation you choose. For example, in collaborative divorce mediation, the mediator works with spouses and their lawyers to find common ground. In facilitative mediation, a neutral third-party mediator leads the couple through the divorce process by helping them identify and address any issues they may have. If you did not already know, your attorney could not serve as both your lawyer and mediator, but an attorney can be your mediator. In this case, your attorney will execute evaluative mediation, providing legal advice based on the uniqueness of the situation. Whichever case is yours, here are some tips for reaching a mutually agreeable and fair divorce finalization 

  • For mediation to work, you must be open-minded and ready to listen to the other party’s perspective.
  • Understand that it is a negotiation. Not all your desires will be met, and as such, you need to be willing to compromise.
  • Do not let negative emotions take center stage. If you have already agreed to a peaceful separation, you must respect your ex-spouse even if you do not agree with them. 
  • With mediation, your active involvement is required, so be ready to gather and prepare all necessary documentation on things like estate plans, marital property, etc 
  • Clear communication is essential. Do not rush things or be coy in a way that can confuse the other party. Let all agreements be plain and decided 
  • Please discuss with your mediator and take their advice. Getting a neutral third party helps you to see things from their perspective, so do not be quick to shut down their opinion. 
  • Be ready for difficult topics, intense moments, and emotions. Focus on what you want to obtain from the mediation instead, and feel free to take breaks to rebalance. 

For more helpful information on divorce proceedings and family law-related matters, explore our blog here.