Five Tips To Making Your Divorce Mediation A Successful One
The road leading to divorce can be extended, arduous and littered with devastation, embarrassment, stress, and emotional trauma. It could also be an expensive affair as well as a long-drawn battle that you and your spouse cannot afford. To attempt to stay out of court, and get an efficient inexpensive divorce, an increasing number of people are turning to divorce mediation.
The goal of mediation is to help you reach an agreement without spending a significant amount of your savings on attorney fees, or spending weeks and months embroiled in court proceedings. However, mediation requires you to make many decisions during the process and be open to discussing issues that are personal, sensitive, and emotional, with 100% honesty.
If mediation is the road you and your spouse decide to travel, C.E.L. & Associates, Inc. has compiled five tips that will help make your divorce mediation a successful one.
Tip #1: Avoid taking divorce advice from friends and family.
Do not listen to advice from friends, family, co-workers, or people you meet at a party about how to negotiate your divorce. Divorce mediation is about you and your soon to be ex, working out a resolution that works for your family, especially your minor children. When people learn you are going through a divorce, they will give you their biased opinions, tell you how horrible their divorce was and give you advice that is counterproductive to a successful mediation
Sadly, this also applies to divorce attorneys who give you advice designed to get you and your spouse to fight in court - “Don’t talk to him/her”, “Take the money from all bank accounts and put it into your own account”and “I will get you 75% or more of the assets”.
Tip #2: Be honest when you mediate.
Holding back information, not bringing up something that is emotional and presuming your ex will change once the divorce is final are all setups for failure and returning to mediation or court after you are divorced. The confidential setting of mediation allows you and your soon to be ex to be candid, honest and 100% transparent with each other. Get everything out in the open now so that the two of you can put the divorce behind you and effectively co-parent your children.
Tip #3: Get your questions answered ASAP.
If you don’t understand something, you have a question, or something that was discussed in mediation went right over your head, bring it up to your mediator as soon as possible. If you are embarrassed to bring it up in front of your spouse, please reach out to your mediator privately and raise your concerns. We want to ensure that when the mediation is completed, you understand everything that you agreed to and that it all makes sense. If not, it might be a problem in the future between you and your ex.
Tip #4: Divorce is difficult but do not let it change how you look at your spouse.
Most people going through a divorce are mad, scared, emotional, sad and humiliated. However, before the divorce, and if you mediate, after the divorce, your spouse will go back to being the same person they were before the divorce. Presuming this person was a good parent, do not let their behaviors during an emotionally-charged separation dictate how you act and react towards them. As a mediator, I see people at their worst. If I saw them outside of my office, chances are they would be “good” people. However, when someone is going through a divorce, remember the person they were before the divorce started, as they will more than likely return to that person once the divorce is over.
However, if your spouse was not a good person before the divorce and not a good person during the divorce, do not expect them to become a better person simply because you are getting divorced. You know your soon to be ex better than anyone else. Keep that in mind when you are mediating your divorce.
Tip #5: Mediation will not help you manage your emotions.
Mediating your divorce will not negate the emotions that go along with a divorce. However, mediation by its very nature will lessen the negative emotions. It is a process where you have a voice, will become empowered to advocate for yourself and you will be looking forward, not into the past as you structure a new relationship with your co-parent. Also, remember the goals you had when you started mediation and maintain them as you work your way through the divorce.
As the best parenting coordinator and divorce mediators in Chicago, IL, at C.E.L. & Associates, Inc., our mission is to facilitate conversations among family members during any kind of conflict or transition. We understand that going through a divorce can be a traumatic time and use our experience and compassion to help couples through separation, divorce, and post-decree issues. We also help our clients with the break-up of their marriage and re-structure their family unit.