Dos & Don’ts of Divorce Mediation
Most people who go through divorce mediation are doing so for the first time. As with any new experience, it helps to know a few things before you get started. The San Diego divorce mediation experts from Divorce Options San Diego suggest knowing what to do and which things to avoid will help you work through the process of mediation faster and feel better about being able to work out an agreement with your spouse.
Do Know a Few Legal Basics
Your mediator serves as a guide who helps you make decisions about your divorce. He or she can share some information about what the courts expect regarding your settlement, but it also helps to know your legal responsibilities before you attend a session. For instance, your spouse might balk at the idea of going to mediation, but you might not have much of a choice if the court requires you to try it first. You and your spouse might also need to avoid doing things that make your divorce more complicated. Generally, this involves things such as not opening up new lines of credit or making major purchases until the divorce is fully resolved.
Don’t Antagonize Your Spouse Outside Mediation
You may need to interact with your spouse while you’re going through mediation. During these times, make an effort to keep things as civil as possible. For example, now isn’t a good time to try to make your spouse jealous by talking about how great your new relationship is. If your spouse is a couple of minutes late bringing the kids home from a visit, don’t make a big deal out of it. Letting small annoyances go can help you both be in a more productive mood when you need to agree on big decisions.
Do Have an Idea of What You Need
Even though you and your spouse will be meeting with your mediator separately, your sessions will go more smoothly when you already know what you want. Although you also need to consider what your spouse wants, it’s much more effective to say you want a specific vehicle or the right to more child visitation than to simply shrug and say you need time to think. Use the time between your sessions to reflect on what was accomplished during the most recent one and to decide what you want to get out of the next meeting.
Don’t Forget to Stay Organized
It’s amazing how much paperwork you need to shuffle through to finalize a divorce. Searching for documents can get overwhelming, but it’s a necessary part of making sure every detail of your divorce is covered in the settlement. You can also use official documents to prove the reasoning behind your preferences, such as pulling out your current retirement account statement to explain why it should be divided a certain way. Use a binder or folder to keep your documents together, and consider electronic storage that allows you to pull up a document from anywhere.
Do Be Willing to Be Flexible
You know what you want, but you also need to try to be flexible. Figure out where you can let go of a few things so you can focus on trying to make sure your needs are met. If there are kids involved, it helps to remember to make them the primary focus during your divorce mediation. Compromising may be what you need to do to help them make the easiest possible transition to your family’s new life.
You can boost your chances of successful mediation by hiring mediators with experience in helping couples with the legal, financial, psychological, and emotional aspects of divorce. The expert San Diego divorce mediators at Divorce Options San Diego provide a one-stop shop, offering comprehensive services that cover all aspects of divorce, from beginning to end. Give us a call today at 858-281-2628.