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630-472-9700Available 24/7

What Not to Do in Divorce Mediation Sessions

Posted on in Collaborative Divorce

Illinois divorce attorneyMediation is not the ideal way for every couple to divorce. Couples who cannot communicate effectively and those who do not trust each other are not suited to this method of ending a marriage.

You might need a slight perspective adjustment to make yourself a good candidate for mediation. Mediation works for couples who are willing to put in the effort to make it work. If you are not sure how to conduct yourself at your divorce mediation sessions, discuss your concerns with your lawyer and keep the following tips in mind.

Do Not Talk Over your Spouse or the Mediator

The mediator’s job is to guide you and your spouse to healthy, mutually satisfying decisions for your divorce by providing legal context for these decisions and providing conflict resolution strategies. You and your spouse have the same right to voice your thoughts and opinions about the divorce. You cannot make progress toward a fair settlement if you delay the conversation by interrupting the mediator or your spouse. For some people, learning to stop interrupting others is not easy. If you tend to be an interrupter, take time before your first mediation session to learn ways to keep yourself from interrupting others.

Do Not Expect the Mediator to Make your Divorce Decisions for You

One of the primary reasons why couples choose mediation over litigation is that with mediation, the couple makes their own decisions regarding their divorce settlement, rather than letting the court make them. Your mediator is a guide, not a dictator or a judge.

Do Not Bring Up Irrelevant Issues

Keep your mediation sessions focused on your divorce. Before you speak, think about whether your planned statement is relevant to the issue at hand. Your mediation session is not the time or place to express your dissatisfaction with your spouse’s relationship with your parents, nor is it the time or place to criticize his or her hobbies. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether something is relevant to discuss during mediation, such as your thoughts on your spouse’s parenting style. If you are unsure about something like this, discuss it with your lawyer before your mediation session.

Do Not Withhold Information or Refuse to Participate in the Discussion

There is nothing to be gained by withholding information during a mediation session. You need to disclose all of your financial statements and any other documents you have related to your assets. In order to reach a satisfying settlement, you also need to disclose your goals, concerns, and feelings about the divorce. Your spouse cannot complete the mediation process alone – if you are not willing to participate, you are not good candidates for mediation.

Work with an Experienced Oakbrook Divorce Attorney

To learn more about divorce through mediation or to have any other questions you have about divorce and family law answered, contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Dupage County divorce attorney at our firm. Call us at 630-472-9700 today for help.

 

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