Five Tips For Successful Mediation Of Your Divorce

Author: Brian James | | Categories: cheap divorce , co mediation , Cost Effective , divorce lawyer , divorce mediation , divorce mediator , family mediation services


Sometimes, no matter how hard you try otherwise, it looks like your upcoming divorce may not be as civil as the two of you thought it was going to be. People, whether it be lawyers, friends, family and/or co-workers, have told you to not trust your spouse, to close joint bank accounts before they do first and try to talk you into doing this that you and your spouse agreed you did not want to do. This situation is the perfect one for divorce mediation vs. litigating in court, as the goal of mediation is to reach an agreement that works without spending your money on unnecessary attorney fees, spending significant time in court and getting away from the civil divorce you both agreed to in the first place before everyone started giving you their opinion and advise. 

Now, to ensure a successful mediation, you will have to make many decisions and prepare yourself for the mediation process. The experts at C.E.L. & Associates, Inc. have shared five vital tips for successfully mediating your divorce.

Keep reading to learn them!

Tip #1: Do your homework
Once you have decided to mediate, you have to get organized. Talk to a “mediation friendly” lawyer before you start the mediation process. Make sure you know what your rights, set expectations and know how Illinois divorce laws work. You also want to make sure you have found and reviewed all of your financial documents.

Be educated as to what is equitable and appropriate under divorce law so you do not walk into mediation with a view that is inappropriate or that your spouse may find unconscionable, as this may lead to unnecessary conflict. When in doubt, speak with your lawyer or the mediator to find out if something you are thinking is appropriate. Good mediators and lawyers will be honest with you vs. simply telling you what you want to hear.  

Tip #2: Prioritize your goals for your divorce
Knowing there are multiple issues that need to be worked out in a divorce, it is best to first determine what you really want to achieve, and at the same time, understanding what your spouse wants to accomplish. You may be surprised when some of your goals align with those of your spouse. This is where candid information sharing is so important in conjunction with #1 above. 

Tip #3: Communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse
Many spouses are not able to effectively discuss all of the complicated issues involved in divorce due to high emotions such as heartbreak, stress, anger, disappointment, and frustration. Because of this, unproductive communication occurs, including yelling, abusive language, name-calling, withholding of information, one partner shutting down completely, and more. These things may complicate the divorce process and are detrimental to all parties concerned.

Even though sitting down and talking with your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be the last thing on your mind, and you are not confident you are able to do this, cooperation and communication make divorce healthier for everyone involved.

When I doubt, speak with your mediator on how to bring up a tough topic to your spouse, as the mediator will have suggestions on how to present a tough to discuss topic to your spouse in the best way possible.

Tip #4: Keep an open mind
The most critical component of the mediation process is negotiation, which means obtaining an agreement through compromise and discussion. You may have firm beliefs about what you are ready to accept but refusing to examine other options will not result in a positive mediation. So, try to have an open mind about possible solutions to every issue so that you can hopefully be successful. The worst thing you can do is “draw your line in the sand” and refuse to budge on an issue because you are mad, angry, sad or out of principle. If you get stuck on an issue, be prepared to openly discuss your current position and why you feel the way you do. If you need help with how to do this, ask your mediator.

Tip #5: Listen carefully
It is easy to tune out during heated debates, not listen to what your spouse is saying and only focus on what you are going to say to rebut what they are saying. In mediation, listening is critical to reaching a compromise and a solution, even if you do not agree with what you are hearing. Rather than focusing on what you will say next, concentrate on what the mediator is proposing and what your spouse has to say about each problem. After they have finished speaking, summarize what they have stated. Feel free to take notes during the meetings if you process visually and want to be able to review the issues you discussed.

These are just a few of the many tips we have to ensure a successful mediation. Every family is unique in the way they communicate and come to agreements. A good mediator will be able to provide tips specific to your situation, tips they will gladly share with you once they get to know you better, as your goal of a peace mediation are also their goals. 

For more tips on divorce mediation, reach out to C.E.L. & Associates, Inc. As well-known divorce mediators and parenting coordinators in Chicago, IL, our mission is to facilitate conversations among family members during any conflict or transition. Our services include pre-decree divorce agreements, post-decree divorce agreements, marital family mediation, and co-mediation services. We serve clients across Chicago, Libertyville, Rolling Meadows, Northbrook, Kenosha, Crystal Lake, Naperville, and Paddock Lake.

To learn more about the services we offer, please click here. To get in touch with us, please click here.