When you have made the decision to take advantage of mediation or collaboration services during your divorce, you then need to approach the subject with your spouse. This may seem simple and straightforward but there is a lot that has to be done and you need to spend some time thinking about what you want to say and how you are going to say it, especially when things are not the best between you and your soon to be ex. Below are some suggestions, along with some handy do’s and don’ts to help you with the divorce mediation selection process. Whenever you need help with the divorce process we are here for you at Grunyk Family Law!
Orally or in Writing
If you and your spouse are having a fairly amicable split, you may be better off just talking to them about your thoughts for mediation assistance. If your spouse is not in a chatty mood or you do not want to see them unless you have to then sending them a notice in writing may be the best option for your situation.
Knowing What to Say
No matter who you choose to approach the topic, you have to remember you want to present mediation or collaborative divorce in a way that is seen as neutral and non-threatening. Present facts and information so your spouse understands why you see value in the mediation process without feeling they are being sold something they have no interest in buying into. If you propose mediation or collaboration make sure you have things written down or planned for what you want to say and make sure you take your time. Have someone read your letter before you send it and ask a friend to let you practice on them before you talk to your spouse. Divorce mediation often is a touchy subject as your spouse may not want to talk about the issues you are dealing with and may feel like you are trying to get the upper hand on them somehow. Getting help from a friend and know what to say and how to say it can really help with the divorce process.
Proposing a Specific Mediator
Depending on any of the unique circumstances surrounding your divorce, you may need to start looking for a mediator before you speak to your spouse so you have one to recommend in the initial contact or you may be better off finding one together. If you know who you are considering for mediator be sure to share your list with your spouse when you approach them about the mediation services. That way, they will see you are not trying to hide anything and are willing to share information with them- they will likely be more cooperative too. You can still make a decision and do research without their input, but involving them in parts of the process can help smooth things over, especially if things are not the best between the two of you going into the divorce.
Dos and Don’ts of Proposing Mediation or Collaboration
On the topic of divorce mediation, help with the divorce process can be managed easily when you follow some simple do’s and don’ts:
- Do some research.Make sure you take the time to do some research and learn about mediation, how it works, any costs involved and find out who offers it in your area. Talk to people, make phone calls, read books, check out pamphlets, and search online for information.
- Remain neutral. When you are speaking with your spouse about mediation, remain neutral and unbiased. Point out that mediation can help you both and that it does not give one an advantage over the other and hat is can make the entire divorce easier and faster.
- Freely share information.If you have done research and know who some of the mediators in your area are, be sure to share that with your spouse in your request. If you have brochures or other material you have gathered, offer to send some copies to your spouse so they can benefit too.
- Do present your spouse choices.Show that you are ready and willing to be flexible from the very start, by letting your spouse have input and by asking them for their ideas and thoughts. This can help smooth things over and maintain a feeling of mutual benefit during the mediation process.
- Don’t try a hard sell.One thing to remember about divorce mediation is that you cannot force your spouse to agree to it. The best way to help with the divorce process is to not go the hard sell approach and to keep an open mind while you wait for them to make their decision.
- Don’t threaten or patronize.On one hand you want to bring up the idea of mediation with your spouse but on the other hand, you should never be condescending or try to force it. That is the fastest way to make your spouse close their mind to the idea of divorce mediation.
- Do try again.The old saying is that if at first you don’t succeed try again. That holds true here because in time your spouse may become more open to the idea of divorce mediation and they may be ore keep on getting assistance and accepting help with the divorce process.
Contact Us For Divorce Help
For help with your divorce case or if you have any questions about mediation, child support, divorce arrangements, or anything else involving your case, give us a call here at Grunyk Family Law. We can help you figure out the best way to approach divorce mediation and can offer you general assistance and help with the divorce process, no matter how simple or messy your particular divorce is shaping up to be. Call to today for a free consultation appointment and let us show you what we can do for you!