Take control of your divorce and make the decision to mediate. You and your spouse will govern the decision making process to avoid the costly, stressful, and unbelievably backlogged Court system. How refreshing will it feel to know that you will be moving onto the next chapter in your life based upon your timing and mutually agreed upon arrangement?
In choosing to go the mediation route, it is important to work with a Divorce Mediator who has the necessary skills to successfully guide you through the process and the level of training and experience your Mediator brings to the table can significantly impact the final outcome. Here are five skills to look for as you select the professional to help you:
All good Mediators understand and abide by the concept of neutrality. It is extremely important to know that your mediator is not allowed to choose sides or favor one spouse over the other. Information will be provided by the Mediator that may be more favorable to one spouse over the other and it is crucial that you trust the mediator is doing so from a neutral place for the overall resolution. A neutral mediator will always be open to your concerns so as you move forward you can trust in the process.
As laws and processes are continuously changing, you are not expected to fully understand the issues and your rights. A good Mediator should be an experienced Family Law professional who knows how to educate a divorcing couple on the process, the challenges, and the law. You are always able to enlist other professionals such as a consulting attorney, financial analyst, or family therapist to help educate and answer questions. You will further rely on your Mediator to give you a clear and broad understanding of your rights and responsibilities.
When communication becomes challenging or emotions run high, you will want a Mediator with an even temperament. It is the Mediator’s job to give both parties the opportunity to express all concerns and outcomes so that you both feel safe and heard throughout the entire mediation process. The Mediator’s proficiency will also direct the communication so that it is productive and moving the process along in a positive direction. It is important that you and your spouse understand each other’s perspectives. An experienced Mediator will be your guide to help you navigate the emotional issues so that you are able to resolve the business issues to get you to the finish line.
A one-size-fits-all divorce does not exist and making your own decisions in mediation, instead of turning them over to a Judge, empowers you to get creative with your future. The decisions you and your spouse make through this process are important and will have an impact on what your lives look like moving forward. You will need a Mediator who can help you get creative with fashioning the best solution for your family. An experienced Mediator has seen a wide variety of situations and can construct multiple options for you to consider. Make sure you select a Mediator who has experience in crafting creative solutions.
The Court has requirements (lots of t crossing and i dotting) that must be met for the paperwork to be accepted. When the decisions are complete, you will want the filing to clearly describe all the terms of your agreement. When you closely review your agreement, the Mediator should be able to use language that you and your spouse can comfortably understand. Be sure to select a Mediator who is familiar with the Court’s requirements and who can write up your agreement in a way that is coherent and captures every small detail discussed.
For mediation to be successful, you must be able to count on the Mediator to guide you and your spouse through the entire process in an even and neutral way. You need to be educated on the law and the issues before you make important decisions. You need to be comfortable and safe in the process to share your perspectives and opinions. You need to feel confident that everything decided has been properly captured and written up in the official divorce filings. You will benefit from having as many creative options to consider as possible. Selecting a Mediator who will help you navigate these important aspects of the process is essential to accomplishing A Healthy Divorce.