Choosing to mediate your divorce is always the most peaceable and effective way to settle the end of a marriage. However, a divorce mediation can still be very challenging. Divorce is a very emotional and a difficult process in and of itself; however, it is precisely the time when you need to make very serious decisions affecting all aspects of your lives, discuss and agree upon many issues and learn to move forward with your lives.
Here are some tips to help you get through it.
Putting the family first
If you have children, then it’s important for their sake that you put their best interests first. Learning to co-parent is one of the most common reasons that couples look for a mediation in the first place. Divorce is a trying time for your children. Their world as they knew it, is crushing. Mediation will not only help you to put together a parenting plan that will work for everyone in a family, but it will also teach you to co-parent and give you tools to resolve all the future issues concerning your children. Please bring a picture of them to a mediation session to remind yourself that they are your first priority.
Make sure the mediation is reciprocal
During a divorce, it can be tempting to want to strong-arm your spouse into accepting something they would later regret. However, while in mediation, it’s important to leave all notions of punishing the other side at the door. In order for mediation to succeed, both spouses will have to honestly seek reasonable compromises and be fully committed to treat each other fairly. As co-parents you will remain in contact with each other for many years to come. Your agreement should be conducive to this goal without leaving either of you full of resentment.
Make sure you’ve prepared your paperwork
The mediation will go much smoother if you know what you need to bring and what you need to discuss. This includes master list of real estate, personal property, vehicles, retirement accounts, credit cards, and more. It also includes records of all income sources as well as regular expenses. Spend time gathering the information you need, so there are no unwelcome surprises from either side during the mediation process. Knowing all the facts will prevent you from building unrealistic expectations about your future financial situations and your mutual obligations towards each other.
Stay respectful and relaxed
A divorce can be a very emotionally draining time of your life, regardless of how you handle it. You have to remember that you’ve chosen mediation to make this process as non-contentious as possible. Please try to avoid any negative feelings while in session. When listening to your spouse try not to assume any negative intentions on their part; on a contrary, believe that they have the best interests of all parties at heart, while also trying to understand their side of the story. Mediation only works as a cooperative process, so put any competitive urges to the side.
Even with mediation, divorce isn’t easy. However, you have to remember that you have come together to reach an agreement, which may require a lot of flexibility, and a lot of compromise from both sides.
NJ Divorce and Family Mediation Services will be here to guide you through every step of the way, so if you ever need advice or have a question during the process, you can reach out to us.