5 Tips for a Successful Mediation

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Choosing to get a divorce can be a difficult decision. Many people think of divorce as battling it out in court and creating a hostile environment. However, there is an alternative known as mediation. The team at Newport Divorce Attorney have seen it all, so we want to offer a few tips for a successful mediation. 

What is Mediation?

Before we dive into the tips, let’s discuss what it is and how it works. When two parties cannot agree on a conclusion, a mediator can be used to help them find a result that works for both of them. In terms of a divorce, this time to negotiate is used to help both parties come to an agreement in regards to child custody terms, distribution of assets, child support, spousal support etc. Instead of a battle where the final decision is made by a judge, a mediator sits with both parties and helps them reach an agreement that both people are comfortable with. An experienced attorney can assist you in the negotiations.

How Mediation Works

It is essentially a three-step process. Before actually meeting with the opposing party, you will create an outline that includes basic information, issues, and what needs to be resolved through this process. 

During the meeting, you and the other party will reach terms that are agreeable to both of you. A mediator will be used as an objective third party and ask questions or prompts that will help you both reach a conclusion. The mediator may decide to keep you in the same room or they may decide to separate you into two different rooms. 

Afterwards a document will be drawn up that outlines the agreed upon terms. This can include things such as a parenting schedule, support and how assets will be divided. This document will be filed with the court and become a part of your divorce settlement. Anything agreed to in the mediation document will be considered legally binding. 

Benefits of a Mediation

There are many benefits to this type of negotiating in a divorce case. Unlike a litigated divorce, mediation allows both parties together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Other benefits include:

  • Costs less. 
  • Control over the results. Instead of letting the courts decide the terms of the divorce, you and your spouse are able to control the outcome. 
  • Communication. You and your spouse are able to better communicate and reach a decision.
  • Higher chance of settling all aspects of the case. This process affords the parties more time generally to work out their concerns resulting in a successful divorce settlement with no contested issues.

5 Tips for a Successful Mediation

  1. Both parties must be present. It is impossible for you to reach a conclusion that is beneficial to both of you if one of the parties doesn’t show up. Be prepared with an understanding of the issues to be discussed.
  1. Don’t insist that you are right and the other person is wrong. In almost every situation, both parties believe that they are in the right. When you are working on a mediation, this can cause problems if neither of you are willing to compromise. You can’t be stubborn if you are wanting to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
  1. Think about it from the other person’s perspective. There are two sides to every story. When it comes to mediation, you have to be able to think about the situation objectively. Yes, your spouse and you may not get along, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to see their child or be financially destitute.
  1. Be respectful. Outside of the mediation, you can dislike your spouse, but within the mediation, you have to be able to set aside your differences to be successful. This is not a time to get emotional, to fight, or call one another names. This is a time to calmly and rationally make decisions that will impact your whole family going forward.
  1. Keep an open mind. When trying to come up with and develop a successful mediation agreement, both parties have to be able to keep an open mind. One party’s idea of a success may not match the others. In these cases, you have to be able to be creative and open to other potential solutions. 

Mediation and Lawyers

Mediations can be successfully completed without a lawyer. However, having a lawyer during the mediation process often reassures you that you are making good decisions. It is always a good idea to have a lawyer review your mediation agreement prior to it being filed. That way, you will have a full understanding of what you are signing and that you can abide with the terms of the agreement.

Are you thinking about using a collaborative mediation in your divorce? Contact the offices of Newport Divorce Attorney. We have helped many clients successfully work through a mediation agreement. For more on mediation and collaborative approaches to divorce, please visit or call (949) 752-2727.

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