A Beginner’s Guide To Divorce Mediation

Author: Brian James | | Categories: child custody , divorce attorney , family mediation services , marital mediation , mediation training , parenting coordinator

A Beginner’s Guide To Divorce Mediation

Getting a divorce can be difficult, but not all divorces have to be fought in court and end bitterly. People are more interested in avoiding emotionally draining and financially stressful separations and want to move on with as little fuss as possible. This is one of the primary reasons that there is increasing reliance on divorce mediation so that couples can part amicably, and their children are not embroiled in ugly arguments.

To help you understand the process of mediation better, as the best divorce mediators and parenting coordinators in Chicago, IL, C.E.L. & Associates, Inc. has formulated a Beginner’s Guide to divorce mediation. Through this Guide, we hope to educate people contemplating divorce about the mediation process.


Getting Started

Hire a professional mediator: Using a divorce mediator for your divorce will save time, money, and help keep the peace and focus on what is best for the children and you as individuals.

Retain a family law attorney: After the mediation is complete, a family law attorney is required to draft the legal documents specific to the agreements reached in mediation. Either of the parties concerned should retain an attorney. It is not necessary for each of you to have your own attorney.

Don’t consider everyone’s advice: Education about divorce is critical. Consultation with a family law attorney and doing research online is a good start. However, listening to friends, family, co-workers, and people who are going to tell you what you want to here, or their story about the worst divorce ever, and not be objective, is not the best way to go about mediation or divorce.


Next Steps

Maintain your focus: Ensure that you take the present into account and focus on the future instead of the past.  Mediation is forward-focused.  What brought you to that point may be upsetting but is not relevant to the process or your divorce.

Keep an open mind: Clients who are best prepared for a successful mediation are the ones who approach mediation with an open mind, are willing to negotiate, empathize and not “draw their line in the sand” on any issue. Also, the mindset you have when you enter mediation is critical in making the process work. Even the best mediators are helpless if a client has unrealistic expectations about how the mediation process and negotiations work.

Make well-thought-out decisions: Think about what you want from your divorce and decide what is important to you in this process. Prioritize before and during the process. Make calm and rational decisions by going through the process one step at a time. Be ready to empathize and listen to what your spouse is saying.


Advice From The Pros

Avoid rigid plans and setting deadlines: Don’t give ultimatums or draw a line in the sand on an issue. Be prepared to listen and empathize with your soon to be ex, even if doing so will be difficult. Drawing your line in the sand on an issue is counter-productive. Mediation is a process that focuses on what is best for your children.  It saves time, money and keeps you out of court. However, if you refuse to budge or negotiate an issue, mediation will not help, and you will be forced to go to court and pay expensive fees.

Don’t expect your spouse to change: Expecting your spouse to change who they are simply because they are getting a divorce is not going to happen. Keep in mind that just because you believe something is equitable, doesn’t mean your spouse will also believe that.

At C.E.L. & Associates, Inc., our mission is to facilitate conversations among family members during any kind of conflict or transition. As the best divorce mediators and parenting coordinators in Chicago, Libertyville, Rolling Meadows, Northbrook, Kenosha, Crystal Lake, Naperville and Paddock Lake, we help couples through separation, divorce, and post-decree issues and assist the break-up of their marriage and re-structuring of their family unit.

We strive to be honest, straight-forward and respectful regardless of the circumstances or facts presented to us in mediation. Our mission is to guide couples to a resolution or settlement that will be accepted by the court and not only what the clients want to achieve in the process. If you are looking for the best divorce mediators and parenting coordinators in Chicago, visit our website to learn more or get in touch with C.E.L. & Associates, Inc. today.