How Can I Contribute to the Success of Divorce Mediation?

November 18, 2013  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Divorce mediation can be an excellent process for reducing costs and increasing the chances of creating a divorce outcome that is livable for everyone. That is not to say that the process is easy, or that it does not carry some unique pitfalls.
If you’re asking yourself what you can do to make the process more successful, however, then you are already on the right track.


Create a list of reasonable goals.
Know what you want this mediation to achieve. Write these goals down. If you don’t know where you’re trying to go then it will be harder to be productive.
That doesn’t mean that it will be possible to meet each and every one of your goals exactly as you envision them. But if they are reasonable they at least give you a starting point.
Shift your mindset.
In a divorce, it’s very natural to start looking for who is at fault. But that attitude is counter-productive during the divorce mediation process. You need to release any need to get revenge, assign blame, or cast yourself as the victim. There is a problem before you and your spouse. The mediation process is successful only when you focus on solving that problem instead of picking apart the events that brought you to the table in the first place. It’s time to focus on the future.
Remain polite.
Remain polite. Act as professionally as you’d act during a business negotiation. Letting your emotions get away from you doesn’t help you get the outcome you want. And decisions made from fear and anger don’t produce long-lasting good results.
Cultivate empathy for your spouse.
Your spouse is probably grappling with as much fear and anger as you are. Concerns that your spouse raises are probably not malicious. It’s not necessary to give in to all of your spouse’s desires, but it’s not necessary to contest every point your spouse raises, either. If you can empathize with where your spouse might be coming from the process is likely to be more successful.
Choose an Experienced Mediator
The mediator that you work with will have a big impact on the success of the process. An experienced mediator will guide the conversation in a productive direction and will understand how the law impacts any proposed solutions.
If you believe divorce mediation is right for you then contact the divorce mediation professionals at Barna, Guzy, and Steffen. With over 75 years serving the Minneapolis metro area, we have the experience to help guide your divorce to the most successful conclusion possible.