Even though popular media often portrays the opposite, many marriages end amicably. The divorcing couple seeks to work together to resolve conflicts and move peacefully toward their exciting, independent futures. To this end, numerous couples choose divorce mediation rather than proceeding through a traditional courtroom divorce.
There are several reasons why a couple would choose to pursue mediation. For example, the mediation process is generally shorter than the traditional divorce process. As such, there is usually a cost savings. Additionally, couples often enjoy the low-stress, low-conflict environment mediation provides. Even though the process is typically smoother and more efficient, there are certain tips the couple should remember to ensure a productive mediation, including:
- Understand the goal of the mediation: The goal of mediation is to provide a forum for the divorcing couple to work through various disagreements about the end of their relationship. It is not a type of couple’s therapy with the goal of helping the parties resolve and work past their trouble spots. Spouses often choose mediation over divorce litigation for reasons that include a shorter duration, cost-effectiveness and privacy. Through this, however, it is crucial to remember the end goal is to dissolve the marriage and move forward with your life.
- Understand the mediator’s role: The role of a neutral third-party mediator is to facilitate a productive discussion. The mediator is not there to take sides or deliver a resolution. The mediator will impartially assist the process while keeping the conversation on track by encouraging cordial discourse.
- Share all relevant information: Some spouses might attempt to hide or omit information when proceeding through the divorce mediation. It is imperative that both spouses share all information regarding assets, debts and income so the proper compromise can be reached. Withholding information could lead to fraud charges in the future.
Many couples find the divorce mediation process beneficial as they can work together toward a resolution rather than have the solution simply handed down to them with little-to-no input. Additionally, couples have a greater stake in the success of the various compromises as they had a significant role in negotiating the outcome. Even though each divorce is unique, it is crucial that couples remember several common tips that can lead to a successful, efficient and productive mediation.