Divorce mediation is a great way to resolve divorce problems. However, the divorce mediation process itself does not always go smoothly. It’s not always successful.
Divorce mediation is a voluntary process. The mediator acts as a neutral mediator and tries to focus the parties on productive discussions to resolve divorce issues. During mediation, emotions can be high and discussions can stall. Either or both parties can refuse to compromise when compromises are required. It can be difficult to communicate suggestions in an articulate and civil way.
A productive mediation discussion may initially require each party to consult an attorney for legal advice on divorce matters.
Here are some points that divorced couples should consider during the divorce mediation process.
Legal Advice To Consider During The Divorce Mediation Process
1. Get advice from an individual legal advisor between mediation sessions.
Even if the mediator is an attorney, he or she will only act as a mediator during the mediation process. You are not serving as a lawyer. By obtaining individual legal counsel, the individual can obtain legal advice and knowledge regarding divorce issues and possible solutions.
2. Consult divorce mediators before choosing one.
Both parties should be part of the mediator selection process. You should interview both potential candidates and be comfortable with the mediator. Before beginning, the parties should understand the mediation process explained by the mediator and the costs involved.
3. Participate with full attention and minimal distractions.
Mediation sessions can be held in person or remotely via video conference. It is important to schedule the mediation session when both parties can focus on the discussion with little or no distractions. Each party should be able to listen to the other party with full attention. Each party should be able to focus and articulate thoughts when necessary for a productive discussion. Having a participant performing multiple tasks during the mediation discussion, constantly checking their cell phone, cooking dinner, looking after children, etc., can affect the productivity of the discussion. It could also be perceived as a decreased respect for the mediation process.
4. Understand and adhere to the basic rules.
The mediator can begin the mediation process by discussing the basic rules with the couple. These rules may relate to how the parties should act in terms of respect and communication during the mediation session. For example, a basic rule can be that the parties should not interrupt one another. The parties should understand the basic rules and the reasons for their implementation. Compliance with the basic rules contributes to mutual respect and productive mediation discussions.
5. Know your alternatives to the mediation process.
The mediation process is voluntary. It’s not always successful. A party can end the mediation process at any time, leaving the decision on the next divorce process such as divorce disputes, arbitration or even the choice of a new mediator open. If the mediation failed, the reason it failed can help determine the next process for the divorce of the parties.
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