MAKING THE MOST OF MEDIATION
Commitment to Mediate
Once you have decided to begin mediation to resolve all the issues regarding your divorce, it is important to make a serious commitment to mediation. Remember, if you go into the mediation process believing that it will not work; it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Therefore, an earnest commitment to mediation begins with both parties being fully committed to open and regular weekly sessions with emphasis on communication, negotiation, and settlement.
Regular weekly sessions are preferable because they build on the momentum created by continuity. Extended lapses of time between sessions are often more costly because each session will require recapping and reassuring that the parties have not changed their mind.
Attention to the Issue While Mediating
It is important to keep in mind throughout each session that their exist an outline and order to the process of which each of the issues shall be addressed. A general rule for an outline of issues and the order that they are addressed is as follows:
- Child Custody
- Parenting Time
- Holiday/Special Day Schedule
- Support and Maintenance of the Child(ren)
- Health Care Expenses
- Extracurricular Expenses
- College Expenses
- Life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Equitable Distribution/Division of Property
- Marital Residence
- Personal Property and Household Furnishings
- Retirement Accounts
- Bank Accounts
- Business Ownership, Partnerships, Shares
- Marital Debt
- Spousal Support
- Comparing Joint Expenses vs. Individual Expenses
- Statutory Factors
- Miscellaneous Provisions
In the event an issue does not apply to a case, then the process will simply move forward to the next issue. It is easy to deviate, but patience is key to making mediation work for you.
Active Listening In Mediation
In mediation you are part of a problem solving team. In order to work as a team, you need to really hear your spouse. Focus on your spouse’s needs and communicate to your spouse that you heard and understand his or her perspective. Many times a spouse just wants to be heard. Only use respectful language. In areas where understandings can’t be reached, agreeing to disagree may be the only alternative. Your disagreement can be addressed in the next session after each spouse has had a chance to ponder their options.
Be Prepared During Mediation
After each session, the divorce mediator NJ will provide a list of documents or information that will be required to move your case forward. To ensure that mediation is cost effective, it is important to complete the task before each session. In between sessions, you may discuss with your spouse issues that you easily agree to and provide the information to the divorce mediator NJ at the next session. Also, in between sessions, limit contact with your divorce mediator NJ to scheduling changes or document exchange.