Do you anticipate that you and your ex will be able to come to an agreeable resolution during your divorce mediation? Divorce is a difficult process for everyone involved, and it often escalates into a nasty fight due to strong feelings on both sides. If you can manage to keep things civil and out of the courts, your separation will be far more tolerable for everyone involved.
If you and your spouse are at an impasse over some issues of your divorce, mediation may help you reach an agreement and keep the matter out of court.
For a smooth mediation, it helps to know what to expect and how to get ready.
First of All, What Happens at Mediation?
The primary goal of mediation during a divorce is to resolve the most contentious issues so that the couple can end their marriage and move on with their lives with little disruption, expense, and emotional strain. A neutral and trained mediator is brought in to facilitate a compromise between the two parties.
It is up to you and your partner to decide whether or not to follow the mediator’s advice, unlike in arbitration or litigation.
Unlike litigation, which relies on position-based negotiation and results in a winner and a loser, divorce mediation can be successful if both individuals are willing to negotiate on their interests such that both sides win.
It may take more than one session of mediation for a divorce to be finalized. A document reflecting the agreements you and your partner have made will be drafted if negotiations are successful.
What Are the Proper Ways to Approach Mediation?
Any couple who is serious about mediating should meet certain expectations. In the end, you and your spouse may have different goals, so you should be prepared to make some compromises.
Having an Open Mind
You need to be able to have frank conversations about anything, be fair, and be willing to compromise with your partner. Do not show your stubbornness here.
Try to keep your cool and be respectful of your spouse even if the conversation gets to a sensitive topic or a painful time in the relationship. Don’t get involved in a “blame game.”
Stepping Back and Taking a Break
To avoid saying something that could entirely ruin the mediation process, it’s preferable to take a deep breath, step away, clear your brain, and calm your mood for a few moments.
Devoting Time Is Necessary
Depending on the circumstances, mediation may take multiple sessions totalling up to 10 hours. It should be easy for your mediator to tell if things are moving forward.
Observing Strict Boundaries of Confidentiality
Maintain the confidentiality of all information shared during the mediation process. This is not like a court case, where information is available to the public and is crucial for maintaining trust.
What Should You Do to Get Ready for Mediation?
Setting a date for the beginning of the divorce mediation that is acceptable to both parties is essential. If possible, pick a day when you won’t have any other obligations or interruptions. Focus everything you’ve got on this first meeting.
Determine who will cover the cost of mediation in advance. It’s typically divided in half, but that’s not always the case. A session fee is often due either before or after the service is rendered.
In addition, you should gather all the relevant paperwork for the mediation and read it well in advance, so you know what to expect.
Divorce mediation is a great way for couples to settle their divorce in a peaceful and cooperative manner. It allows them to resolve their issues without having to resort to a lengthy and expensive court battle. With the help of an experienced mediator, couples can work together to reach a settlement that is agreeable to both parties. Indeed, it is important to keep an open mind towards divorce mediation, as it can be a beneficial process for all involved.
If you would like to know more about the process of mediation in the Fraser Valley, you may approach our experienced lawyers here at Dreyer & Associates. We are committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland, with a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. Call us today, and let us discuss your current divorce and mediation situation.