If you have decided to use mediation to settle the terms of your divorce, you already know that you will likely complete the process more quickly and spend less than you would in litigation. In fact, that may have been the driver for choosing this alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. Once you have made this decision, it is time to get ready for the process. Here are some negotiating tips to use during mediation to put you and your family in the best possible situation for success:
1. Be prepared: Just like any process, mediation works best when you are prepared for it. This means pulling financial and other documentation that will be relevant to the process (think about information on your assets and debts, bank account information, income information, retirement balances, etc.). This will help you fairly and equitably divide your joint property.
2. Communicate clearly and without emotion: Many marriages end in large part because of communication problems. By the time that you get to divorce, you may still feel anger, sadness, resentment or other emotions. Try to practice clear, concise and emotion-free communication strategies during the mediation process. This communication style is more transactional and generally much more successful.
3. Be open to compromise: Compromise is the cornerstone of the mediation process and both parties should come to the table with openness and a willingness to find common ground. You and your ex will make the decisions about how your divorce is settled, so it will require both of you to be able to compromise.
4. Remember co-parenting is a marathon not a sprint: When you share children, you will continue to co-parent long after your divorce is final. Mediation is ideal for settling the terms of your divorce and then being a resource when you find that you have issues coming up down the road with your custody agreement. The court system is just not set up to handle frequent disagreements.
5. Find individual support: Your mediator will serve as a neutral third party for the mediation process, but you will also likely need personal support during the divorce process. Consider a divorce coach, family and friends, a professional therapist, spiritual leader, or other support network to help you navigate the difficult and complex process.
AMS Mediation specializes in mediation services for families going through divorce or issues with custody. Our team can help you navigate the process with less financial and emotional stress. For more information about our services, call 952-252-1492.