ain-free divorce may not exist, but mediation could help you minimize the drama of dissolution. Like any divorce method, it must be approached strategically; enter mediation sessions unprepared, and you’ll emerge with little to show for your efforts. Follow these mediation tips to ensure a more favorable outcome:
- Highlight A Few Chief Priorities
Before you enter mediation, determine your true goals. Do you want primary custody of your children? Do you need financial security? Mediation is about compromise, but if you’re willing to make the right compromises, you could emerge with the results you desire.
- Seek Qualified Outside Counsel
An attorney cannot advocate on your behalf during mediation sessions, but you can consult with a legal representative outside of mediation. Your attorney can provide a valuable sense of perspective, along with a path for achieving the goals you’ve already outlined.
- Understand the Needs Underlying Your Spouse’s Wants
Sometimes, spouses don’t truly want the extensive demands they make. For example, your ex may insist on physical custody without thinking of the difficulties this will place on his or her career or lifestyle. Perhaps, what your ex really wants is the ability to have a say in your child’s life. This could be enabled through joint legal custody and shared parenting time or a generous visitation agreement. Don’t be offended by your ex’s seemingly reckless demands; consider the emotions that drive them, and suggest reasonable alternatives.
- Make the Right Compromises
In mediation, you need to give a little to get a little. With a few clever compromises, you could give a little and get a lot. Consider the 80/20 rule, and figure out the critical moves to make. When compromising, pair something you strongly desire with something your spouse wants—ideally something that’s not particularly important to you.
- Meet With Your Mediator One-On-One
Most mediators will let both parties meet with them individually on one or two occasions. During this time, express your concerns without making it obvious that you’re trying to influence the negotiation.
- Don’t Get Too Emotionally Invested
Your mediator is not a therapist. Keep emotions out of this process, and rely instead on cold, hard logic. Outbursts and insults should be avoided at all costs; take a break if things get too heated.
In-depth counsel can make a huge difference as you resolve your differences with your ex via mediation in Maryland and Virginia. Look to DiPietro Law Group for guidance every step of the way.