Mediation may be a collaborative approach to divorce, but it still involves heightened emotions and complicated issues that need to be resolved. These can become overwhelming and can interfere with your ability to reach a successful resolution if you aren’t prepared to face them. Fortunately, you can ready yourself for divorce mediation from an emotional standpoint in addition to getting your finances and other matters in order, and this can make a significant difference in the end result.
Here are a few tips to prepare yourself emotionally for divorce mediation:
Leave the Past in the Past
Divorce will naturally dredge up all kinds of feelings based on things that have already happened. These, or an accumulation of these, are probably why you’re divorcing in the first place. When you approach your divorce mediation, remember to leave the past in the past. Telling the mediator about your partner’s past offenses or trying to get what you need based on mistakes they’ve already made is not what mediation is about. Instead, try to focus on the future. Think about what you want to accomplish and how you can reach an outcome that works.
Divorce mediators are not there to judge you or your partner on your past. They are there to help you focus on building a better future.
It’s Not About “Winning”
Divorce mediation isn’t about winning or losing. Ideally, you and your partner will reach custody, support, and property decisions that are mutually beneficial, and that means you both can thrive. Try to let go of the need to win and think about the future you are going to build by reaching an agreement that works for you now and into the future. Removing the win-lose mindset can make all the difference in reaching an ideal compromise.
Try to See Your Partner’s Side
Your marriage may be ending, but your partner is going through the same thing that you are. Try to step back and look at things through their eyes, even if it’s hard to do so. When you consider their thoughts and feelings, you’ll be in a better position to resolve divorce-related issues. The mediator will take the dynamics of your past and current relationship into account when guiding proceedings, from both your side and your partner’s side. Don’t forget to do that too.
Expect Emotional Triggers
It’s exceedingly rare to go through a mediation session without hitting a topic or hearing your spouse say something that triggers you emotionally. Consider potential triggers ahead of time and think about how you would want to handle them. If you believe a certain issue will bring emotional challenges that you can’t overcome, talk to your mediator and they can work with you separately to prepare or even establish ground rules for talking about specific topics that can help you avoid an argument or standstill.
Think About the “Why” Behind Your Goals
You might want to keep the family home, but why? Take some time to think about the real reasons behind your goals. When you know exactly why you want to keep the home (maybe it’s so you can keep a sense of stability for your children, and it’s close to where you work), you can share this during the mediation session. This supports your goals and helps you actually reach them. Mediators want to help divorcing spouses reach agreements that are in both parties’ best interests, so demonstrate why.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Your life is changing in a major way, and this can bring about emotional and physical responses. You might experience insomnia, may be exceedingly anxious, or might find yourself disinterested in food. Remember to take care of your body by getting enough sleep and the nutrition you need. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get outside and take a walk. Try to organize your thoughts and your to-do list on paper (or on your computer) so you don’t forget anything. Enlist the help of friends and family members. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the stress and emotion associated with your divorce.
Talk to a Southern California Divorce Mediation Attorney
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we believe in helping our clients build better futures. Divorce doesn’t have to be a messy, drawn-out process made public by court proceedings. You can protect your privacy, save time and money, and protect your emotional well-being by taking a collaborative approach that ends in a better result for you and your partner. Contact our Southern California divorce mediation attorneys today to learn more about the ways we can help you!