Mediation and settling a divorce outside of court has a number of advantages over traditional divorce. By reaching an agreement with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse on your own cooperative terms, you not only speed up the process and save a significant amount of money, but also keep the divorce from trickling into the public eye. This can be especially beneficial for high-asset divorce cases.
Professional mediation can help guide the process by allowing a neutral third party to act as a referee, giving guidance on legal and logistical considerations while stepping back and primarily letting the couple work things out together.
Some people might worry that coming to an agreement with a difficult spouse outside of court is an impossible feat. While it’s true that some people must take their case in front of a judge to leverage the power of the law, many divorcing couples find that with a bit of patience and mindful awareness of how to best approach it, they’re able to work it out without going through a court process.
Here are three tips to keep the emotions from getting the better of you while you negotiate:
- Set a time limit. Decide on a time and place to meet for a discussion, and set a time limit. This can help cut down on tension by creating a finite timeframe rather than an open-ended environment.
- Prepare in advance. Have all of your documents and information on hand so you can easily reference it and provide feedback. Being prepared can help you cut down on defensiveness by targeting the outcome you specifically want. It’s important to remember that some negotiating or compromise will take place, and not every outcome will be exactly what you had hoped for.
- Prepare yourself mentally. Create a support network of friends, family, or a therapist who you can vent to and express frustrations after the fact. Save those moments for your venting sessions and try to remain as calm and level-headed during the actual discussions as you can.
No mediation or agreement process will be 100% smooth or comfortable, but if you can work with the discomfort and embrace keeping a calm perspective, you’ll be finished much more quickly and with far less stress. An experienced mediator can help you get the process started.