How should I act during my divorce mediation?

Mediation can be a great way to resolve your divorce. It may save you time and money compared with traditional litigation, and you are generally more likely to achieve a result with which you are happy.

It is understandable to feel nervous or a little intimidated before your mediation, especially if you have never gone through it before. New situations make almost everyone a little anxious, so it is important to know how to act during the mediation.

Remember why you are there

Divorce issues typically involve custody and/or property division. Stay focused on these topics during your mediation.

It may sound harsh, but mediation is not the time for emotion. Do not turn your mediation into a marriage counseling session, or even worse, use it as a reason to vent to your spouse about all the things they did during your marriage that made you unhappy.

That kind of behavior gets you nowhere and can even derail your mediation entirely. Rather, remain practical and think logically so you can make the best decisions. If you do feel your emotions taking over, ask the mediator if you can take a short break.

Communicate openly and listen to your spouse

Explain your positions on the issues you discuss. Do not be afraid to state your reasons for wanting a certain outcome.

However, this goes both ways. When your spouse is talking, listen to them. Do not just wait for them to stop speaking so you can say what you want to say next.

Additionally, be honest. When you are discussing finances or property, disclose all information. Hiding or downplaying information to obtain a better result can quickly backfire and goes against the spirit of mediation.

The mediator is a neutral third party

Finally, remember that the mediator is not a judge. You are not there to try to get the mediator on your side or get them to see things your way.

The mediator cannot order any outcome or show preference for one party or the other. They are not personally involved in your situation. They can only guide you and your spouse to potential solutions.

Attorneys are not required to attend mediations, but spouses sometimes choose to have one there anyway. They can help you stay on track and represent your best interests.