We believe that anyone going through a divorce who does not have any concerns for their safety should try mediation as a first option as it can be most satisfactory to both parties. Other methods of resolution often leave a divorcing couple with bad feelings and worse settlements.
Couples who come to mediation with an open mind, who want to listen to and be heard by their spouse, and who participate with the intention to address the conflict and secure a fair outcome do particularly well in mediation.
There is no need to stress out. Mediation is a conversation, and nothing is finalized unless everyone agrees to it.
Think about yourself and your future. What do you want your life to look like in the next few years? Think in broad terms as nobody can possibly know exactly what they want. Having a basic understanding of your family’s finances and a potential parenting plan can be helpful.
You may be surprised to find that you are both in agreement on many of the topics that are discussed. The mediator will help you identify the issues that need to be addressed at subsequent sessions, and how to prepare for them.
Self-care and taking time to do what makes you feel good is very important, and can enhance your ability to make good decisions in mediation. Make sure to take good care of yourself both physically and emotionally.
Mediation is about the participants reaching an agreement together, and generally the most productive approach is to have both parties sitting together with the mediator to have a dialogue. An agreement cannot be reached if one party is not present to give their consent to the terms.
In mediation we focus on each person’s individual needs and interests, and nobody knows that better than yourself. However, if a party would like to have a support person be there with them, our policy is that the other party needs to be notified and give approval prior to the mediation.
We can provide a list of attorneys who can review the agreement prior to signing.
In arbitration, parties in conflict present their claims to an arbitrator who has the power to enforce legally binding decisions on the parties, while in litigation such claims are argued in front of a judge who will issue a judgment based on their limited knowledge of the circumstances. Final outcomes are based on rights and laws.
Mediation is the process which allows for the parties to have a dialogue about their needs, work together in the interest of fairness and equity, and be in control of the final outcomes.
Unfortunately, you cannot force anyone to come to the table and make a mutual agreement.
If you are not sure of your next steps, try reaching out to an organization that helps navigate divorce for case-specific advice.
Ask your spouse how they would like to work out the divorce. Assure your spouse that from your end, you want to get divorced in the most peaceful way possible, and that you want your divorce to be amicable and fair.
Make a list of the reasons you would like to take the mediation approach; your spouse may want mediation for the same reasons. Be mindful, if you are the one initiating the divorce, it may take your spouse some time to process the information.