Having an amicable divorce doesn’t usually come easy. Although it may seem like an impossible outcome, with courage and dedication, many individuals find a way to achieve it. Choosing to work on a relationship even through separation can be beneficial to you and your family in many ways. There are many advantages to divorce mediation that help couples reach separation agreements, sometimes even allowing them to avoid litigation altogether. The process guides you through open communication and provides space to listen and time to understand the perspective of your partner. If having a simple divorce is your goal, the extra patience and strength to work through mediation may be just enough to ease your experience. If you are considering divorce mediation, follow these 5 steps to a successful and productive journey through it.
1. Go Into It With Understanding
Before you chose whether or not to being divorce mediation, it is important to understand the purpose of it. While couple’s therapy helps you resolve issues from the past to progress well in the future, mediation doesn’t deal with the past at all. Although it does happen, the outcome isn’t to convince you to get back together. Mediation helps you work on your relationship to benefit the future of your divorce. It can help you find common ground before making big decisions for you and your family and prevents the outcome of a judge making those decisions for you.
2. Take Time To Prepare
There are many ways you can prepare for successful divorce mediation. First, talk to your lawyer and get familiar with your rights. Put together a list of your assets including everything you possess such as vehicles, bank accounts, real estate, any personal property, etc. Your mediator may also ask you to bring relevant financial statements and any documents required by the court. After you have prepared your paperwork, take time to ask yourself questions about what you want and need from the outcome of the divorce. Review what is most important to you and what you may be willing to give up or negotiate on. Having a detailed conversation with yourself about your boundaries and needs ahead of time will benefit you when you need to talk about them.
3. Don’t Hold Back Information
Your mediator is there to facilitate a productive conversation between you and your spouse. Their job relies on what you share as well as your honesty. When you hold back information during a mediation session, it makes it difficult to identify the issues that need to be resolved. Disclosing all relevant financial information is also crucial. Although lying or holding back information during mediation is not considered a crime, it can lead you to lose your negotiating potential. If you believe that your spouse is making false claims, you should gather evidence to disprove their points. A divorce attorney can help you uncover the truth you need to protect you and your children.
4. Be Respectful
One of the most important factors of successful mediation is the choice to be open and listen respectfully. Giving your spouse space to speak their mind even when you don’t agree shows maturity and emotional control. No matter how ridiculous you think your spouse is acting, it is your mediator’s job to be neutral and therefore in your best interest to remain open and calm.
Here are some ways you can show emotional maturity during mediation:
- Do not talk over your spouse. If you worry about forgetting your train of thought, take down quick notes while they speak and bring them up when it is your time to do so
- Practice breathing techniques to remain calm when you begin to feel triggered
- Try not to take things personally. Instead of questioning why your spouse may think the way they do, try accepting that you disagree and focusing your time on solving the problems
5. Take Breaks To Recenter
Divorce mediation is hard. It’s a very sensitive process and can be triggering. Knowing your emotional limits and setting boundaries can help you remain focused and productive during your sessions. During times of distress, mental health prioritization and self care can help you make decisions that you truly stand by. It is okay to take it slow and ask for breaks when you need a moment to recenter and gather your thoughts.
Remember that mediation should not be a fight. With an open mind and determination to come to an agreement it can be a very effective process. Amicable divorces carry many advantages. If you are able to collaboratively come together you and your whole family will benefit in the future.
At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.