A successful mediation is a more cost-effective and less stressful way to manage a divorce. However, the process of dividing assets and deciding on child custody arrangements can make the thought of divorce mediation very overwhelming. Every decision can seem equally important and daunting. Unrealistic demands, emotions, and tempers can make a successful outcome for a divorce mediation more difficult.
Fortunately, there are some strategies that you can use to increase the likelihood of successful divorce mediation. Here are some best practices for mediation to consider.
Decide What’s Most Important
There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when it comes to divorce mediation. This includes what happens to marital assets such as your home, vehicles, businesses, and personal property. Before starting the mediation process, take a deep breath and think about what things are the most important to you.
Is it your top priority to continue to live in your home? Are you willing to give up other things, such as vehicles or a camper, to make this happen? If you choose that the house is the most important asset to you, can you afford to pay for the home without having two incomes?
You won’t be able to retain ownership of everything during your divorce. Your partner will get to keep some of the marital assets from your divorce. By accepting that you won’t get everything you want and knowing what’s the most important to you in the mediation, there is an increased likelihood that you’ll be happy with the outcome and get (most) of what you want.
Be Prepared to Compromise
At the heart of any good mediation or negotiation is compromise. The goal is to find the best solution that you can both agree on. Going into mediation with the idea that it’s your way or you won’t accept it is not a productive way to mediate a divorce. This is important when dividing assets and when deciding on the other logistical aspects of post-divorce life.
For example, you both want to have your school-aged children stay with you for Christmas break. Since your children will not be able to be in two places at once, you’ll have to compromise. Perhaps the children alternate staying with each parent every other year for Christmas break, or each parent takes half of the break to spend with the kids.
Participate in the Mediation Process
Mediation shouldn’t be something that happens to you. It is a process that you should participate in. One of the primary benefits of mediation is that you have more of an opportunity to participate in the process. This includes advocating for the things that are most important to you and coming up with creative solutions in the spirit of compromise.
Make a List of Assets and Debts
When you first start the divorce process, make a list of assets and debts. You can work with your lawyer to make sure that this list is complete and representative of your shared assets. This list can serve as a starting point for the mediation process and can help with negotiations.
Know What Your Children Want
If your children are old enough, ask them what they want. Do they have a preference of which parent they want to primarily live with? What about what school they want to go to? These preferences should get some consideration during the mediation process.
Be careful not to conflate the child’s preferences with the parents’ preferences. Parents should not try to persuade or manipulate the preferences of their children. Having transparent conversations and giving thought to what the children want can lead to a more successful outcome.
Be Cautious About Social Media
It is too easy to vent on social media about how terrible your ex is or how difficult it is to get divorced. However, it’s much better to avoid posting negative content on social media when it comes to divorce mediation. These comments could be held against you later, especially in the mediation process. Would you be as willing to compromise with someone if they posted negative comments about you to friends and family online?
Contact a Savannah Divorce Lawyer Today
Are you going through the divorce process? Phillips Carson & Phillips has experience helping clients successfully mediate their divorce. Having an experienced and empathetic attorney on your side can make the process easier. Contact us to schedule a consultation by calling (912) 232-0081 or using our online contact form.