When people stand before one another and their family members and friends to profess their love, it never really crosses their mind that one day they might be filing for divorce. Yet the reality is that for some couples, things simply don’t go as planned. In fact, over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce in America. And while no one wants to go through the experience of ending a marriage, the good news is that there are ways to make the process easier. One of them is to get divorce mediator—someone who can help with the negotiating process.
If this sounds like something that you would be interested in doing and you’d like some suggestions on how to prepare for a divorce mediation, here are five tips:
Choose a great mediator. The whole reason for getting a mediator is so that you can have someone to help you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse navigate through all of things that you need to separate between the two of you. In order for the process to go as smoothly as possible, you need someone who is professional, friendly, knowledgeable, patient and most importantly, neutral. There’s a pretty good chance that your attorney or pastor can find you someone. However, one website that has tips on how to find a reputable divorce mediator is Mediate. Go to the site and put “choose a divorce mediator” in the search field.
Have a checklist of what you want to discuss. Mediations are not the most pleasant experience. Therefore, it’s important that you do all that you can to make them go by as smoothly and quickly as possible. One way that you can do that is by creating a checklist of all of the things that you want to discuss beforehand. The more thorough the list, the more focused you can be during the mediation.
Schedule the meeting. Although you want to make sure to give you and your ex enough time to talk about all that’s on both of your agendas, if you’re not careful, it can easily go on for hours. And after a while, it can start to take an emotional toll, resulting in unnecessary outbursts. You can help to prevent this from occurring by setting a time for the meeting to start and stop. When you know that you only have a certain amount of time, it will help to keep you on task.
Make respect a priority. When it comes to a divorce mediation, one thing that any reputable divorce law attorney will recommend is that you go into the meeting deciding to be respectful of your ex. While you may not love one another (or you simply cannot live together) anymore, that doesn’t mean that you can’t treat one another with dignity. The more you focus on giving respect, the greater chance you’ll have of receiving it in return.
Be solutions-oriented. Finally, remember that you’re not having a mediation to argue. You’re having it in order to come to a firm resolve. So, make sure that you stay solutions-oriented. Whenever things start to get uncomfortable or the discussion gets lengthy, ask the mediator to remind both of you that you’re there to find solutions, not to create more problems. That’s the key to having a successful divorce mediation.