Mistakes to avoid before starting family mediation for a divorce
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Mistakes to avoid before starting family mediation for a divorce

Family mediation is a process that offers a great alternative to traditional divorce. While a divorce often pits you against your spouse, mediation gives you a chance to talk and work together. Instead of fighting through the entire process, you communicate what you want and need. You can resolve differences more quickly and reach an agreement you both accept.

Like any process, family mediation only succeeds if you work diligently through it. Mistakes along the way can derail you quickly, and make recovery difficult. It is not a magic bullet that works regardless of what you do. If you want mediation to succeed, be careful to avoid the common pitfalls.

Communication Mistakes

One of the quickest ways to derail your family mediation is to fail to communicate openly. You are still married. If you lie or withhold information from your spouse, he or she will not trust you during mediation. Similarly, lying to your attorney can make it challenging to represent you effectively.

You can also struggle with over-communicating. Disrespecting your spouse in emails or social media posts can hurt you in the mediation. Worse, if you badmouth your spouse in front of your children, resolving your differences in mediation gets even harder. Stay respectful and honest to give your mediation a chance to succeed.

Communicating effectively remains one of the most critical skills to help a marriage. When your marriage is ending, communication remains critical. Focus on speaking openly and honestly with your spouse and your legal team. Failing to do so will derail your family mediation more quickly than any other kind of mistake.

Behavioral Mistakes

Some people let themselves lose control when their marriage starts to fail. They may make extravagant purchases, gamble, or turn to other vices. All of this can hurt you personally. Also, those actions limit your ability to present well in family mediation. Avoid the temptation to act out during the mediation or divorce process.

Beyond acting out, it can be easy to lose control in more subtle ways. The end of your marriage is not the end of your life. Take care of yourself: eat well, exercise, and do the things you need to stay healthy. You need to be strong during the family mediation and divorce process.

Finally, be careful not to withdraw from friends and family. Too often, those facing divorce pull away from their support network – right at the time you need them most. Maintain contact with your loved ones. Separating yourself from those who care about you can only hurt you.

Working with the Wrong People

Finally, you need to work with the right professionals to get the best results in family mediation. When you hire a mediator, make sure he or she is an attorney. Divorce law can be complex, and working with a non-lawyer will usually mean less understanding of the law and the process. Limit your mistakes by working with a qualified attorney.

Keep in mind that, when it comes to preparing for mediation, you need professional guidance. Do-it-yourself divorces and paperwork are not specific to you or your situation. Don’t go it alone. Instead, bring in legal expertise for your family mediation. If you are ready to look into divorce mediation or want to explore a collaborative divorce, contact Ogborne Law today.