A mediated divorce is all about negotiation — but not everybody has experienced the process of negotiation when the stakes are high.
Are you nervous about the upcoming mediation session? Whether you’re just anxious about being in a room with your future ex-spouse or you’re just worried that you won’t have what it takes to assert yourself, there are some things you can do to prepare.
4 steps to prep for mediation sessions
It is important to think of divorce negotiation like a business deal. Both sides may not get everything they want, but they will (ideally) both walk away feeling reasonably satisfied with the agreement.
- Learn as much as you can about the law. Having a good understanding of your legal rights, the laws of Tennessee and your options when it comes to dividing the marital assets, custody options and support can allow you to negotiate from a position of strength.
- Decide on your goals before you get there. Be as specific as possible about what you want the most, whether it’s the stock options or primary physical custody of the kids. Separate your main goals from those you’re willing to bargain away, if needed.
- Have a plan for every possible contingency you can imagine. If your spouse starts belittling you or the negotiations seem stalled, you’ll handle the situation better if you’ve already decided — in advance — on your reaction.
- Listen to all sides and be open to compromise. The attorneys and mediator may be able to give you an objective viewpoint. Consider what you hear. Remember that you have to be willing to give something if you want to get something.
Mediation doesn’t have to be a scary process. In fact, a mediated divorce can save you tons of time, energy, grief and money — and it may be the best way to get moving on your new life.