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It's not 'all or nothing' when it comes to mediating a divorce

Many people assume mediation is not a viable dispute resolution method for their divorce. Often, people think this because there are issues that divorcing spouses simply cannot agree on. However, mediation is not an all-or-nothing dispute resolution method.

In other words, you do not have to resolve every divorce-related matter in mediation; some issues prove to be too contentious or complicated to settle outside of court. That being said, there are a few strategies that can help people tackle as many issues in mediation as possible. 

  1. Start with the smaller issues. If you and your soon-to-be ex can agree on one or two details, start there. Starting with issues that can be resolved easily helps both parties become familiar with the process and start off with at least one success.
  2. Don't focus on "winning". If you are trying to "win" your divorce, you will likely struggle with mediation. Instead, keep in mind that you are working towards agreeable solutions that allows you to move forward. Further, don't assume that going to court will achieve this sense of winning. Litigation can be unpredictable, and a judge is not going to have the same understanding of your experiences as you have.
  3. Keep some perspective about the bigger picture. It is easy to get caught up in the minutiae of divorce. However, rather than get bogged down by every issue and every detail, try to adjust your perspective. Your divorce will end, and at that point, you want to be in a position where you can be satisfied and hopeful about the future. Arguing over every detail can make it difficult to see beyond the process.

These strategies can make mediation sessions less combative and more successful. You can also discuss with your attorney additional approaches that might be helpful in your specific divorce. 

Remember, though, that mediation is not necessarily an all-or-nothing process. While you can take steps to resolve as much as possible outside of court, sometimes there are issues that require litigation. Because of this, it can be helpful to work with an attorney who can help you prepare for both mediation and litigation.

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Evans Family Law
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