People are not always the best versions of themselves during the divorce process—and sometimes that includes during the divorce mediation process.
At Mediation Northwest, I like to keep the process as simple and as pleasant as possible for both parties. With that in mind, here are a few divorce mediation mistakes that I regularly see in my office for you to try to avoid.
1. Tripping over a dollar to save a penny
Your divorce mediator is here to help guide you through every step of the divorce process — including financial decisions.
I really, really like to save money. So, I fully 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 during mediation
During a divorce, emotions (and tempers) can often run high. But don’t let that cause you to interrupt your spouse during our mediation sessions.
The mediator can only hear one party at a time and interrupting each other could end up causing a rift between you that makes your mediation take longer.
3. Expecting the mediation will be completed in thirty minutes
I can count on one hand the number of mediations that I have conducted in my 20 years as a divorce mediator that 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
As your mediator, it’s my job to work to get a fair deal for both parties. Of course, this requires basic respect among all the parties involved—myself included.
To put it simply, your mediator is either your ally or your enemy. Choose wisely.
5. Failing to consider your post-divorce expenses
Make a budget for the expenses you predict after your divorce is finalized. 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
Divorce mediation requires balance, but you want to make sure you’re not misleading anyone about your situation.
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 yourself up 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. Be fair, cut a reasonable deal with your spouse in mediation, and pocket both attorneys’ fees!
Set up a consultation with Mediation Northwest today
At the end of the day, you want your divorce mediation to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you want the negativity and the chaos to end, my team is here to help you through it. We will navigate you through the potential pitfalls of divorce and help you tame the chaos! Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.