Eventually every divorce reaches a point at which one or both parties are tired of fighting and ready to move forward to a settlement. Unfortunately, even though the parties involved might be ready to end their legal battle, if they continue to disagree on major points, a settlement can not be reached. Some allow the judge hearing the case to make the final choices, but it is usually in everyone’s best interest to negotiate their own arrangement. One party or their attorney may suggest mediation, and knowing how to handle a request for mediation can drastically affect how your divorce gets resolved.
Talk to Your Attorney
If you are contacted by your former spouse or his or her attorney regarding going to mediation, immediately reach out to your own attorney. Your attorney is in the best position to know whether or not mediation will help or hinder your case. He or she may also wish to accompany you to any meetings with a mediator or want to suggest one. Never agree to attend mediation without first speaking to your attorney. Do not assume that your spouse or his or her attorney has already discussed the plan with your attorney before contacting you.
Decide Where You are Willing to Compromise
The point of mediation is to come to an agreement regarding your divorce settlement. Both parties will need to compromise and meet each other halfway on matters regarding finances, property ownership, or the custody of young children. Prior to attending any mediation meeting, decide what compromises you are willing to make. If you are not willing to make any concessions and are viewing the meeting as a battle or confrontation, your mediation session will not yield any results. Always be willing to give on one point in order to get something in return.
Ask Yourself if You are Ready to Settle
When one party or the court itself suggests mediation, it is usually a sign that the requesting party is ready to settle or the court wants to conclude the case. Before walking into your first session with a mediator, ask yourself if you are truly ready to settle and be honest with yourself when answering. While you may not have much of a choice when it comes time to attend, if the mediation session was ordered by court, if your spouse is the one making the request you do have the option to refuse mediation. Even though mediation is viewed as a way to resolve divorce related issues in an affordable manner if you are not ready to settle, then attending mediation is pointless.
Vayman & Teitelbaum
Regardless of how you feel regarding mediation, always discuss your choices with a qualified divorce attorney. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum is prepared to review your case and give you advice regarding whether mediation is the right choice for your unique situation. With offices throughout the Atlanta metro area, we are standing by to provide you with the legal representation you deserve. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation today.