Couples who are preparing for divorce may choose to pursue divorce mediation instead of litigation. For some couples, it is their concern about their children that will make divorce mediation seem like the best option for their family. For others, it may be valuable personal property that they don’t want to risk in a litigated divorce or embarrassing circumstances that make them think that mediation would be the best solution for the family.
Mediation can lead to a settlement that is both private and a reflection of what the divorcing spouses believe is best given their family circumstances. Of course, mediation itself can be very complex and even stressful for divorcing spouses. There is never a guarantee of success, but the three steps below might improve someone’s chances of securing a favorable outcome during mediation.
Completing a thorough review of disclosures
Technically, both spouses should provide accurate financial disclosures to one another before the mediation process begins. However, the disclosures made in mediation are not bound by the same laws as disclosures made to the courts for litigation. Therefore, spouses need to be more critical and thorough when reviewing the inventory of assets and debts provided by their spouse.
Setting specific goals
Maybe someone wants to keep their professional practice or wants their spouse to pay all of the remaining credit card debt from the marriage. It can be easier for people to feel satisfied with the outcome of a divorce if they have specific goals. They are also more likely to compromise successfully with their spouse during mediation if they have specific goals that they focus on and other terms on which they are capable of compromising. A focus on attaining specific goals can potentially streamline the process instead of turning every minor decision into another negotiation.
Practicing healthy communications skills
Face-to-face mediation can be an intense experience. Spouses may sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, which can derail the whole process and prevent a successful agreement. Working on emotional management and healthy communication techniques before mediation can help someone prevent a situation where their emotions run the show.
Seeking legal guidance and properly preparing for mediation before attempting to resolve marital conflicts can increase someone’s chances of settling with their spouse.