People are generally not the best version of themselves in divorce mediation. So, it is perfectly reasonable for intelligent people to make mistakes in mediation. Here are a few divorce mediation mistakes I regularly see in my office:
1. Tripping over a dollar to save a penny
I want to save as much money as possible. So, I understand not wanting to spend money. But when you fail to spend $450 for a pension valuation, yes, you are saving $450, but you are also losing tens of thousands of dollars in the value of the pension. One of my mediation clients saved over $200,000 because he trusted me and spent $450 on the valuation!
2. Interrupting your spouse in mediation
The mediator can only hear one party at a time.
3. Expecting the mediation will be completed in thirty minutes
I can think of five mediations I have conducted in 20 years where we were completed in 30 minutes. It took years to create your marriage; it will take several hours to dissolve it.
4. Talking down to your mediator
Your mediator is either your ally or your enemy. Choose wisely.
5. Failing to consider your post-divorce expenses
Make a budget. You need solid information regarding your expenses in order to properly negotiate for support (received or paid). Too many parties agree to pay too much support or agree to accept too little support based upon a lack of information. You cannot negotiate until you know the information.
6. Overplaying your hand
Suggesting that you are doing something for the benefit of the other party when in reality it works in your favor is transparent and disingenuous. A good mediator will call you on this behavior. Come to mediation ready to make fair decisions for both parties.
7. Only listening to the best case scenario from your advising attorney
Courts are notorious for giving a win to the wife on point A, but then awarding a win to the husband on point B. So, if you are only listening to the best case scenario from your advising attorney on each and every issue, you are setting-up yourself for failure either in mediation or at trial. Unless your spouse is a convicted drug-dealing loser, you won’t win every point at trial or mediation. So, be fair, cut a reasonable deal with your spouse in mediation, and pocket both attorneys’ fees!
If you want the negativity and the chaos to end, give us a call at 541.484.1200. We will navigate you through the potential pitfalls of divorce and help you tame the chaos!