Divorce mediation can be an effective and less combative approach to resolving your divorce issues. However, NY divorce mediation is not a walk in the park and being an informed participant can help the process work for you. Following, are common mistakes people make in divorce mediation:
- Not being prepared for the mediation: If you are working with an attorney, make sure he or she takes the time to thoroughly prepare you for the mediation process. If you are going into mediation without an attorney, get help from a mediation coach prior to the mediation session so that you understand the process and how to navigate it successfully.
- Rushing through it: When you participate in mediation, you are making decisions that will affect you, and your family’s financial well-being, emotional health, and overall lifestyle. Being focused with clearly defined goals on what you want to accomplish through mediation is key to a successful resolution. If you find yourself drifting or losing focus, take a break rather than deciding to just slog through it. Even if you have to end for that day and take up the process the next day, that is better than making a decision when you are stressed or tired.
- Assuming the mediator is there to protect your rights: Strictly speaking the mediator’s job is to act as a neutral third party, not to advise you about what is in your best interest. It is your attorney’s job to look out for your rights—and if your attorney is not present during the mediation make sure he or she looks over any agreement before you sign it.
- Compromising too much: Clearly, divorce mediation in NY does require that both parties are willing to compromise in order to resolve issues. However, being a pushover is not the answer. Divorce is a difficult process and it can be hard to see your ex spouse during negotiations, especially if you feel emotionally vulnerable. But giving in to demands and giving up your rights just so you can reach an agreement can backfire. If you don’t stand up for yourself now, you might later regret being so agreeable when you are in financial difficulties.
- Refusing to compromise: If you approach divorce mediation expecting to get everything you want, you will be in for a rude awakening. Anger, drama, and demands aren’t likely to be successful tactics in divorce mediation either. The whole idea of mediation is give and take, and participating reasonably should enable you to get what is most important to you. And to reach an agreement that you can both live with.
A skilled divorce mediator can help you avoid the pitfalls
There are no guarantees in mediation. However, an experienced NY divorce mediator can help you navigate the process. Enlisting the help of a skilled professional gives you a much better chance of getting an outcome you are happy with.