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How to Make the Most of Your Divorce Mediation

How to Make the Most of Your Divorce MediationMost couples who are divorcing think that they only have one option to finalize their divorce and ensure that they get what they want or need, which is divorce litigation. However, the truth is that as long as you and your ex-spouse believe that you are able to get along and reach agreements without causing unnecessary fights or arguments, almost all divorce attorneys will recommend trying divorce mediation first.

Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. In most cases, you, your spouse, and your respective divorce attorneys sit down with a neutral mediator with the goal of avoiding a court battle. For some folks, mediation ends with a full divorce agreement, complete with parenting plans, that can be submitted to the court. Other folks may end up with a partial agreement, meaning there are one or two issues that will be left to the judge to decide. To help ensure that the process goes smoothly, here are seven tips to make the most of your divorce mediation.

1.     Be aware of your rights

Before you go to your divorce mediation meeting, you should make sure that you know your rights. This means that you should reach out to a Charlotte divorce lawyer well in advance and secure representation. One of our attorneys can ensure that your rights are upheld.

2.     Try to be as reasonable as possible

Mediation is more likely to be successful when both sides agree to be reasonable about their needs. The idea of divorce mediation is to come up with a solution that works for everyone in a non-contentious, open-minded way. You want to approach mediation in the right state of mind so you can prevent additional stress or tension for yourself.

3.     Treat your ex-spouse with the same respect you’d like to be treated with

While you are in the mediation room, you should give your ex-spouse the same respect that you expect them to give you. Even if you have anger, sadness, or hard feelings toward them, it is important for you to put your feelings to the side and think about finding solutions and creating agreements during this process. If you need a break, let your attorney know that you need a few minutes to clear your mind and get back into the right headspace.

And remember that your ex may need that same consideration. Even though you may not like what they have to say, it is essential that you actually listen to them during divorce mediation. Remember: mediation is about finding a path forward in the least contentious way possible. Not listening, or refusing to acknowledge your ex’s feelings and needs, is one of the most common triggers for an argument that could blow up the whole process.

4.     Know what you want and what you are willing to possibly let go

Divorce is often about compromise. Our goal, as your divorce lawyers, is to ensure that you get the best possible outcome from that compromise. To do that, we need to know what exactly you want and what you are willing to let go when it comes to your property and assets.

For example, you may be adamant about wanting the vacation property that you and your ex-spouse traveled to every summer. While you would also like to have two of the vehicles that you both own, you may be willing to possibly let these vehicles go if you and your ex-spouse can come to an agreement about the vacation property.

5.     If children are involved, prioritize their best interests

According to North Carolina Statute 50-13.1, all child custody and visitation cases are required to go through mediation. The only time these cases do not have to go through mediation is if the court waives this requirement (as in cases of domestic abuse).

When going through this process, you will need to prioritize your children’s best interests over your own. This means that you should only think about their needs and how certain custody or visitation terms will negatively or positively impact them. There is also a good chance that your ex-spouse and their legal team will want to hear how the child custody or visitation schedules you are requesting are in the best interests of your children. You must be prepared to give convincing reasons explaining this.

6.     Focus on your future

Even though you may be grieving your marriage, you should focus on the endless possibilities that your divorce may bring. For example, you may meet new people, make new friends, learn new hobbies, and re-discover parts about you that you forgot over the years. You can direct your attention toward the future by creating a list of potential goals that you hope to accomplish, which you can refer back to frequently when going through divorce mediation.

7.        Remember that your Charlotte divorce lawyer is your advocate

The thing to remember about mediation is that it’s a tool, not the end-all, be-all. If the process isn’t working, or if you find yourself overwhelmed, we’re here to help. Mediators may be neutral, but our Charlotte divorce lawyers are firmly on your side, serving as your advocate. You can confer with us at any time during the process, or take a break to discuss your options privately with us.

Although divorce mediation is typically less stressful than divorce litigation, it can still cause intense feelings. A Charlotte divorce lawyer from Epperson Law Group can guide you through this type of process and ensure that you and your ex-spouse are reaching fair resolutions. If you are ready to get started, please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your consultation today. For your convenience, we have offices in Weddington, Concord, Boone, and Charlotte.