Here at Mediate Don’t Litigate in Denver, we want to share some tips for talking to your spouse about divorce mediation. When couples decide to divorce, one spouse will often do a lot of research and stumble upon mediation as a way to save money and time. Sometimes, in trying to sell their spouse on the idea of using mediation, the opportunity is not always easily embraced by the other spouse.
Who has the Upper Hand?
Divorce is usually not a pleasant process. When a couple decides that they need to divorce, at least one party may rush to an attorney to protect assets and/or lay claim to any children involved. Out of duty to their client, the attorney may advise clients not to discuss anything with the other spouse and will begin developing a strategy to “win” in court. This may sound very appealing, but it can also be very costly.
If a spouse has already decided on retaining an attorney, persuading them to use a divorce mediator can be difficult. If they feel they are losing their advantage in the situation or that their spouse may have the upper hand, it may take time to convince them of the benefits.
Choose Your Timing
Introduce the idea of mediation at a time when conflict seems to be at a minimum. Avoid proposing it in the middle of an already heated debate. Ask at a time when things are calm. If you have children, do not ask in front of them. When talking to your spouse about divorce mediation, you want the conversation to be as calm, pleasant, and stress-free as possible.
Don’t be an Expert
Try not to sound like the expert in all things mediation. Use phrases such as, “according to the mediator website” or “this article on the web says” to help your spouse see that you are not the expert and do not necessarily have an upper hand. Share the mediation websites you looked at or any printed material you found with your spouse.
Present Mediation as a Reasonable Option
If you propose mediation as an option that would allow you and your spouse to save money and time, mediation may sound more appealing. It also ensures that neither party is stuck with an agreement that they don’t like but must live with because it was handed down by a court judge. Additionally, attorneys may be present during divorce mediation and are often a part of the process to ensure that clients understand any legal implications.
Don’t Expect Immediate Agreement
You are divorcing, so it is likely that your spouse will not be immediately enthusiastic about the idea of divorce mediation. It may sound great to you, but it may take a bit of patience to get them on board. Be understanding, patient, and flexible. Forcing an issue will likely not get a spouse to agree and may lead to even greater hostility.
Using these tips for talking to your spouse about divorce mediation can be a good way to get your spouse to agree to mediation. If you have questions about the process, contact us here at Mediate Don’t Litigate in Denver for your initial consultation.
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