Mediation can be an invaluable method in negotiating a divorce settlement. The divorcing parties attend with their attorneys along with the mediator – an attorney who oversees the process. The group is usually in the same room, sitting across from each other at the table and discussing parenting plans, time-sharing along with division of marital assets.
For some people, mediation may be advantageous because it is less costly and time-consuming than going to court. In Florida, all parties must attend mediation before a court hearing date is set. However, mediation may prove challenging in some situations, including high-conflict divorce.
Unrealistic expectations, presence of high conflict
It is important to keep an open mind during mediation. But, sometimes, parties may not have much faith in the process. This is to their detriment, though, because mediation is beneficial. When it comes to mediation, please avoid the following:
- Scheduling conflicts: Four hours is not uncommon for mediation, but some may take longer. Some people contend that they cannot get enough time off for work to attend. Others may choose the passive-aggressive route, all along not being invested in mediation.
- Unrealistic expectations: Negotiation is a crucial part of mediation, and if one party declines to do so, forget about any results. Frustration only abounds. Sometimes, a spouse makes unrealistic demands such as insisting on most of the marital property. Other times, a party may get to the negotiating table and refuse to participate.
- Revenge: The element of revenge often surfaces in divorce, and one party may prefer the litigation route in a desperate grasp at triumph.
- Situations of a high-conflict divorce: The animosity already is there, and both parties may have a lack of tolerance and respect for each other. With all that venom, can they realistically be in the same room for negotiations? They must try.
- Choosing not to work together: Some divorcing parties have no desire to work together after their union dissolved. Refusing to talk means refusing to meet and negotiate a divorce settlement. You must have a common goal to make things work.
Mediation remains an effective tool in divorce. Couples who go through mediation must be willing participants and prepared to negotiate. And if they want to achieve success during mediation, they also must avoid certain behavior.