Divorce mediation is one of the most popular alternatives to litigation. It enables the spouses to reach an agreement regarding the outcome of their marital issues, such as property distribution, alimony, and child custody. They meet with a neutral mediator and communicate to resolve these issues to be able to finalize their divorce.
The mediator does not make decisions on your behalf. You and your spouse are in complete control and can reach a personalized solution that is best for you. Monroe NC family law attorneys assess your situation and help you throughout the mediation process to ensure that you have a fair agreement. Click here for more information.
Here are a few things you should do and should not do to have a successful mediation
Before proceeding ahead with divorce medication, below are some do’s and don’ts to help you make the mediation process easier.
Do choose the right mediator
Every party must trust the mediator for the mediation to be successful. The mediator plays a significant role in the mediation process, and they must be suitable for it. Ensure that they have relevant experience. They must be neutral and protect the interests of both spouses. While they do not make decisions for you, they should encourage and empower you to reach creative solutions for the ideal family life post-divorce.
Do not attack your spouse
Maintaining a cordial relationship with your spouse is necessary during the mediation. Regardless of your anger or frustration because of the divorce, you must be polite and not act in a manner that can delay the mediation. Trust your mediator to handle things correctly if your spouse tries to badmouth you and do not engage with them. If the spouses fail to communicate respectfully, it will lead to fights and arguments, making mediation ineffective.
Do understand your priorities
Before mediation, you must understand your priorities. Discuss your priorities with your lawyer to help them create strategies that can achieve your divorce goals. Setting your priorities helps you know the areas you are willing to compromise in and resolve issues accordingly. Remember that you cannot get everything you want, and you must choose what is most important to your future.
Do not hesitate to take breaks
Mediation can be emotionally overwhelming. Do not hesitate to ask for short breaks when you need them. It can help you refresh and engage in the mediation process with a more productive mindset. Thinking with a clear mind can also help you reach better mutually beneficial solutions.
Allow your spouse to keep their opinion and needs
A mediation process is done with the aim of resolving disputes and other issues involved before finalizing the divorce. During the mediation process, your spouse is allowed to keep their opinion and needs. Remember, they are allowed to keep their needs and prioritize just like how you are allowed to do so. Therefore, instead of attacking your spouse or getting into an argument, try understanding what they are looking for from your divorce.
Do not get your children involved during the mediation process
Especially when your children are minors, keeping them away from the mediation process is better. Things may take a destructive toll during the mediation, and you do not want your child to get involved in something they do not understand. You can ask your spouse to support you in this decision to protect your children’s mental health.
Do schedule your mediation when you are fully available
Mediation can be time-consuming, and it is essential for you to be fully present without worrying about other tasks. Therefore, if you have any urgent work or commitments, you can reschedule your meeting when you are present completely.
Do not opt for mediation if you are a victim of abuse
Mediation may be an escape for your abusive spouse from repeating their behavior again. If you are a victim of abuse in your marriage, it is better to avoid mediation and take your case to court, where you can get the justice you deserve. However, if you feel you are not comfortable with your spouse being around and avoiding the lengthy court procedures, you can opt for shuttle mediation. During shuttle mediation, you and your spouse will not be in the same room. Instead, you can present your points to the mediator alone, and they will further communicate with your spouse and vice versa.
Do take a supportive family or friend with you
The mediation process can be overwhelming, and you cannot predict what is going to happen during the mediation. Many people become emotionally vulnerable during the mediation process, and this is where you may need someone reliable to support you. If you can, ask your friend or family to accompany you. If they cannot be present physically, you may ask them to be available whenever you need them during the process over the call. It can help in easing some burden off your shoulders.
Do not rush to make decisions
It is not mandatory for you to settle everything in the first mediation itself. You are allowed to have a second meeting schedule with the mediator. Therefore, avoid making rational decisions or rushing to end the mediation process. Note that mediation is a crucial process that can affect the outcome of your divorce. You do not want to rush life-changing decisions without understanding every aspect involved.
Take your divorce attorney with you
Sometimes, your spouse may show up with their lawyer during the mediation process while you are alone. This is why it is always helpful to ask your attorney to accompany you during the mediation process. In case you do not take your attorney with you and your spouse shows up with their lawyer during mediation, you may be confused about what you should do. All you can do is ask for a reschedule or put the mediation on hold until your attorney arrives.
While mediation can be cost-effective, less stressful, and convenient, you must be careful during the process to ensure that you can seek its benefits.