Mediation is by far one of the most common negotiation methods during a divorce settlement, and when mediation works well it can end up saving both parties a lot of time and financial resources.
Essentially what divorce mediation entails is a separated couple, and sometimes their respective lawyers, hiring a neutral third party called a mediator to help them come to common grounds while discussing and resolving the many issues that the divorce settlement entails. Steven L. Fritsch, Esq. is a Carlsbad Family Law & Divorce Attorney who has decades of experience in helping couples obtain appropriate settlements, and he is also a successful divorce mediator that has helped countless couples develop their own agreements outside of the impersonal confides of court.
If you’re considering going through a mediation process to help resolve your divorce settlement, then consider the following benefits:
- Mediation is always a lot less expensive than going through a series of hearings or a court trial.
- Almost every mediation process will end in a suitable settlement for both parties that addresses every issue.
- Mediation is always confidential, so there’s never a public record of what happens during these sessions.
- You and your spouse will be able to bring your own ideas to resolving your divorce settlement through a collaborative process, and you’ll ultimately be able to be straightforward with what you both think is fair instead of having legal principles imposed upon your solution.
- Your lawyer is always available to you during mediation and can help you with legal advice throughout the entirety of the process.
- You and your soon to be ex-spouse will be in control of the divorce process, not the court.
- Mediation helps couples improve their communication and can help later on in terms of avoiding future conflicts.
Of course the ending of any marriage is a very emotional and painful experience, so mediation doesn’t always work out as well as it should, and it’s simply not meant for everyone. But when you trust a divorce specialist like Mr. Fritsch to help you throughout your mediation process you’ll be putting your entire settlement, and peace of mind, in the proper hands.
Divorce mediation is a great way for many couples to resolve their issues, and here are some mediation tips to help you make the most out of your divorce settlement!
1. Pick the Perfect Mediator
All mediators are unique, and every mediator is going to better at certain aspects of divorce settlements than others. For instance, some mediators are great at handling complex financial agreements and others are better at handling emotional conflicts. Also, it’s important to understand that some mediators handle cases that involve domestic violence, while others don’t.
So when it comes down to it you should always be making a concerted effort with your spouse to make sure you are hiring a mediator that is more than qualified to handle any of the complexities that are involved with your divorce, because picking the wrong mediator can many times lead to a failed mediation simply because the mediator couldn’t successfully navigate the posed issues.
2. Be Prepared
You should always talk to your lawyer before you go into a mediation session, and this is because you’ll want to fully understand a whole array of information beforehand. You’re going to want to know all of your legal responsibilities and rights, your state’s child support laws, and you’ll want to have thoroughly gone over your financial documents beforehand as well.
Although some mediation experts recommend keeping lawyers out of the sessions, we think that you should always have an experienced professional by your side who has a career’s worth of understanding when it comes to negotiating your financial settlement.
3. Do Your Homework
An example of doing your divorce mediation homework is having your financial documents submitted to a mediator by their given dates, and this can include getting property appraised, obtaining pension information and understanding certain school districts so you can better understand where to move to so your kids can stay in the same school after the divorce finalizes.
You’ll never get anywhere with your mediation if you and your spouse aren’t doing the necessary tasks to move forward with the settlement, so make sure you’re keeping up with your to-do’s!
4. Have a Clear Understanding as to What You Want and Need Before Going into a Session
Your bottom line is something that you’re going to need to fully understand before you start any type of negotiating, so that means differentiating what you definitely need from a divorce settlement and what you want to have. You should know what you’re willing to give in on and 100% come to an understanding that your wants and needs don’t always coincide with one another.
If you can go into your mediation process knowing the answers to some of these fundamental questions, then you’ll have a much better chance of having more effective sessions.
5. Try to Understand What Your Spouse Needs and Wants
You are always going to know your spouse much better than a mediator, so you should think about what’s important to your spouse and also what your spouse wants and needs from the divorce settlement. You are always going to want to go into a mediation session looking for a win/win situation, so by knowing what your spouse wants you’ll be able to put yourself in a better position to trade for something else that you want.
6. Be Honest
It’s always smart to have a lawyer review your agreements before they are solidified, and if you feel uncomfortable about any issue during your sessions you should let the mediator know. You aren’t going to want to go back and forth on your agreements, because that could potentially just kill the mediation process altogether.
So be honest and don’t be afraid if you want to go through some aspects of your settlement a little longer before you close up shop.
7. Control Your Emotions
This is, of course, a lot easier said than done, and there’s no denying that facts that divorce mediation is pretty tough, especially when your spouse is pushing your buttons when you’re already on the edge! The best strategy towards handling your emotions properly during mediation sessions is to know exactly how you’re going to calm yourself down before the sessions even begin.
One of the best techniques to control your emotions when you are triggered is to remain quiet, breathe deeply and count to at least 5 before giving any kind of reaction. You should also be keeping the end game in the forefront of your mind and focus on the big picture at hand, which will ultimately help you put the little stuff aside.
And if you feel like you are getting too emotional during the sessions, then you should simply ask to take a break so you can clear your head.
8. Keep an Open Mind
It’s important for everyone going through a divorce mediation process to know that there is always more than one way to go about getting to your final settlement, so the more you think about your way the less likely you’ll get to a fair, finalized settlement.
A mediator is always going to help both you and your spouse go through resolving your issues in creative ways, and you’ll be surprised to know that there are more than likely several solutions you haven’t thought about just yet. But you have to be open-minded enough to explore your options, and not just think about getting the settlement accomplished to your liking.
Do You Think Divorce Mediation is the Right For You and Your Spouse?
There’s no doubt about it that divorce is always a challenging endeavor, but that doesn’t mean it has to be financially and emotionally devastating. It’s always a great strategy to try to come to some type of fair, mutually agreed upon divorce terms with your spouse, and it can go a long way in terms of obtaining a favorable settlement for yourself.
If you believe divorce mediation is the right step for you and your spouse, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation so we can go over the initial steps to set up a session that will be as effective and enjoyable as possible.