Successful Mediation Negotiation: 4 Things to Prioritize

Although you likely hear about the dramatic divorce cases that end up in court, the reality is that only around 5% of divorce cases go to court and settle with a judge.  Depending upon the complexity of your case, the professionals you choose to work with, and the method of divorce you choose, odds are high that you’ll likely find yourself participating in mediation. Meditation can be a great tool to help facilitate settlement and is often required before a court will hear a case in Colorado. However, because many couples choose to have their legal counsel present, in addition to mediator fees, the cost for the mediation session can quickly add up. 

This article addresses what you can do to support a productive mediation session, and ways to reach amicable agreements with a well-organized plan. By focusing on key elements, establishing goals, committing to constructive discussions, and attending with the right mindset, mediation can empower both you and your spouse to design an ideal post-divorce life

Do your homework

Thorough preparation is key to ensuring informed decisions in mediation and lays the groundwork for productive dialogue. This includes gathering necessary paperwork, speaking with divorce professionals (such as mortgage lenders and financial planners), and gathering information on everything from employee compensation and benefits, to post-divorce health insurance, and having a solid understanding of where various issues stand from a legal perspective. By spending time in one-on-one consultations with other professionals, you’ll be better equipped with the information you need to both understand and negotiate toward your desired outcomes. Being proactive not only makes your mediation session more efficient, it also empowers you to navigate discussions with confidence and clarity. 

Prepare emotionally

The divorce process can often feel like an emotional rollercoaster. That’s why emotionally preparing for mediation is key to it’s success. This involves recognizing the difference between personal desires and objective interests. The former position is personally rationale and emotional and can be difficult to change. In contrast, interest-based objective negotiating outlines facts, needs, and reasons to consider another position, allowing individuals to approach discussions with a more flexible mindset, oftentimes leading to compromise. 

In addition, when you refrain from making decisions or judgments on behalf of your former spouse during meditation, you shift away from joint decision-making and typical marital dynamics. Instead, you move toward a post-divorce world in which you see and honor one another’s autonomy.

By recognizing these principles, you can navigate mediation with greater emotional resilience and a collaborative spirit, paving the way for mutually satisfactory outcomes. Connecting with a divorce coach can also help support the emotional aspects of this process.

Set Goals

Setting goals for your session, and even asking your ex-spouse for input on the goals, helps everyone navigate the process with purpose. Outlining priorities and objectives frames the session with direction and focus. Once you accept that you will not get everything you need or want, it’s easier to stay focused on the most important items. During the session, you can also pause and reassess objectives as discussions unfold, adapting to unexpected changes or compromises. Being proactive in this way empowers parties to advocate for their needs and priorities, and promotes a more efficient and productive experience overall.

Complete your parenting plan first  

Once you finally start your mediation sessions, work to complete your parenting plan first. This lays the foundation for the well-being of your children, which is far more important than dividing marital assets. Having your parenting plan confirmed can help you start to visualize your post-divorce life and could make other decisions easier. Not to mention, prioritizing this aspect of your agreement can result in more harmony for all involved, which can be helpful in reaching subsequent agreements. Assuming both parties are negotiating in the best interest of the children, completing the parenting plan first can set a positive tone for the overall mediation process.

Successful mediation hinges on a strategic approach that prioritizes key elements to navigate the complexities of divorce with clarity and purpose. Mediation provides an opportunity to reach amicale agreements with the right support and guidance. With thorough preparation, emotional awareness, goal-setting and prioritizing the completion of the parenting plan, parties can reach mutually satisfactory outcomes. By embracing these tools, mediation becomes an opportunity to forge a new post-divorce path forward with confidence and resilience. Contact us to learn how we can support the financial aspects in preparation for mediating your divorce.