Avoid Setting Unrealistic Expectations In Divorce Mediation
To get the most from divorce mediation, awareness, preparedness and keeping expectations within in the realm of reality are key. Setting expectations too high as far as what you want and think you deserve can turn into added expense (if you already have legal representation), and a total waste of time. Here are tips to give yourself the best chance of a satisfactory outcome. 1) Negotiable items
2) Non-negotiable items
3) Consequences of failure to reach agreement
4) Mediator style
1) A good mediator will assist you in learning the positions of the other party in the dispute. Having a clear picture of both sides provides a starting point for dialogue and negotiation. Clients should take turns stating what outcome they want from mediation. When the other party has the floor, don’t interrupt. Instead, write your next point on a note pad and wait your turn to speak.
2) Before mediation, share with the mediator your top 5 agenda items to discuss. Relay in advance those items you feel are not negotiable but it is vital that to understand whether or not your non-negotiable items are realistic. Making impractical demands results in a wasted mediation session and in the end, can leave you bitter and resentful. If you are represented, your attorney can assist with reality checks. Realize that a successful mediation is about give and take. You will need to give in on some issues in order to get what it is you want.
3) Ineffective reality checking can lead to failure to reach a settlement. If agreement is not reached, money and valuable time are completely wasted. Properly prepared clients are much more likely to reach an acceptable agreement, but it is essential that you understand the consequences of your decisions in order to feel vindicated and assured of no further discord in the future.
4) The facilitation style of the mediator should be agreeable to you. Some mediators focus on interpersonal issues while others zero in on the legal dispute resolution. Either way, unlike litigation, mediation is where you should feel free to express your opinions and stances. Mediation is an opportunity to discuss how your life is impacting the decisions you make in the divorce process.
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