Our clients often tell us they are looking for a process that will reduce the time and cost to negotiate their separation. Mediation is intended to provide a dispute resolution process that can cost couples less in time and money than traditional litigation-based processes.
Click here to book a free Zoom call with one of our experienced family law lawyer-mediators to learn more about us and the process of mediation.
We have put together these 5 tips based on our experience to help you save time and money when mediating a separation:
Timing is important.
Everyone responds to separation in their own way. Sometimes, two people can grieve the loss of the same relationship in very different ways. Some experience all of the commonly referred to “stages of grief” while others experience some stages and not others. Generally, the most productive and reliable negotiations occur between spouses once they enter the acceptance stage.
Always check in with yourself to see how you are coping and what you can do to help yourself get through this undeniably difficult time. If you find yourself frustrated with your spouse in negotiations, consider where they may be in the process of grieving the separation and what steps could help to move the process forward in a positive way.
Do the work.
In the words of Jerry Maguire, help us help you. We have designed resources and tasks for our clients to help them make the most of each joint mediation session. We also provide timelines to complete the requested tasks. If you use our resources and follow our suggested timelines, you will not only decrease the overall time and cost in mediation, but you will also be relieved when you have completed major to-do items required to reach a settlement.
Shift your focus to the future.
Mediation is more likely to succeed when you find a way to shift your focus from the pain of the past or present to problem solving for the future. In this space, our clients find their true goals for the future and can even sometimes find mutual goals that serve as anchors to help them refocus on what is important to them if discussions become difficult at times.
Pick your battles.
When you shift your focus to the future and identify your true goals and interests, you will be able to identify the issues that are most important to you and most aligned with your goals and interests. In the same vein, you will know which issues are less important to you. We encourage our clients to take a step back from time to time to think about the global resolution and for the lack of a better expression, pick their battles. We see positive results when our clients negotiate with good faith for what is genuinely important to them while truly listening to what is important to their spouse as well.
Be open to the strategic involvement of other professionals.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, the involvement of professionals can save you time and money when they are used strategically to obtain the information you need to confidently make decisions throughout the course of mediation. For example, you may find it helpful to retain an appraiser to provide the value of a home or to retain a lawyer to provide legal advice on a specific issue or to ask a parenting professional to provide research on the ages and stages of child development. Our mediators can help you to consider whether the involvement of a particular professional for a particular purpose can be valuable to you but the decision will always remain with you and your spouse.
Our mediators are experienced family law lawyers and we are here to help. If you are in the process of separating from your spouse or considering separation, click here to schedule a free Zoom call with one of our mediators to learn more about our services and to answer any questions you may have about the process of mediation.