“Just found out divorce mediation is Tuesday afternoon!!!
Help! I’m nervous
What do I do?!
What do I say?
How do I dress?
How do I act?
What questions should/shouldn’t I ask?
Give me all tips/advice you all have please! ”
— Nicole’s post on Facebook
Advice for Handling Divorce Mediation
Everybody is nervous in a divorce. In fact I’d be nervous if you weren’t nervous. But here’s a tip that will help you calm down and give you more confidence during the mediation.
Write the main categories to be decided down the left side of a piece of paper. These will be your rows. The main categories are child custody, child visitation, child support, alimony, property division, and legal fees. You can expand on this by adding subcategories.
For example, under visitation, you might have subcategories of weekly schedule, holidays and summer vacations. Under property division, you would have the big ones, like house and pensions, as well as bank accounts, automobiles, and furniture.
Next, make three columns labeled best, middle, and showstopper. Fill out your objective in each row and column. This will make you think about what you really want, what you can live with or without, and what will make you walk out of the room if you don’t get. It also help you know what to say.
It doesn’t matter so much how you dress but I would suggest business or business casual will make you feel comfortable. Act firmly but politely. Remember you are there to problem solve, not to blame or assess fault. You can ask any question you want. Let the mediator take the lead.
You don’t have to reach an agreement if you don’t think it is fair. But as the mediator will probably tell you, you will save a lot of time and money if you do.