Your circumstances and the reasons for your imminent divorce or separation, both play a big part in how you will deal with mediation as a couple and therefore how you will have to mentally prepare yourself for the process.
If for example, you have had a tempestuous relationship with your spouse or partner, with lots of arguing, shouting and even violence, you may have to prepare for an emotional roller coaster. In these cases we try and ensure that the mediation process is conducted in a calm and civilised way. If there are signs of anger, raised voices or mental bullying, the mediator will call a break in the discussions until all parties have calmed down.
For many separating couples though, the fact that they have both agreed to mediation indicates that both parties are looking for a resolution to disputes over money or childcare and are willing to compromise and be guided through the process by the mediator.
Here are a few things to help you to get into the mind-set that will be most productive in mediation:
- Try to keep an open mind – by this we mean, stay open to ideas for resolution that you may have not thought of as a solution. It also will not help the process if you go into the session fixated on the outcome you have planned in your own mind.
- Dignity and serenity – remember, whatever has come to pass between you in the relationship, whether it’s an infidelity, or long term resentment of your spouse, you must try to put those passed actions and feelings to one side. This will enable you to focus on the discussion in mediation about financial issues or child care. Remember these will be the important things going forward for all of you.
- Think business – It can be incredibly hard to let go of emotions and memories of the person you are separating from – in some cases couples have been together for decades. But going forward you have to try to view the changed relationship in more of a business perspective. For example working out childcare timetables or financial arrangements, you will need to focus on the resolution of these issues in a more business-like manner rather than an emotional one.
If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of mediation, please call us for a chat on 0117 924 3880 and we will be happy to discuss your situation with you. You may also find it useful to read about the mediation process here.