Many clients come to divorce mediation at Westfield Mediation, LLC to save time and money. Divorce mediation is not instantaneous and it's not free, but it is faster and way less expensive than both spouses getting their own lawyers and arguing the case in court. To keep the costs down and to use your mediation time most effectively, I have three suggestions.
Do your homework. In divorce mediation, we break down the process into manageable steps so it is not overwhelming. At the end of each meeting, we give our clients small assignments to complete before the next session – thinking about parenting, collecting documents, preparing a budget, etc. Doing those assignments insures that the process moves at a good pace. Not doing them slows down the process, and may lead to more meetings and consequently, more costs.
Communicate between meetings. We suggest that clients come up with a neutral way to talk to each other between meetings – text, email, shared calendars. By finding a way to address some issues on your own, like who paid the electric bill or whose turn it is to drive the kids to soccer practice, you can use your mediation session to work on the essentials of the divorce agreement instead of your everyday tasks.
Be forward thinking. Divorce mediation is designed to help you create an agreement for your future. It can be an emotional process, but it should also be a practical one. To the extent possible, it's best to use the sessions to discuss what your goals are for the agreement as opposed to an opportunity to rehash the arguments that got you here in the first place.
In mediation, we guide divorcing couples to reach a resolution on parenting and finances. The process works best if everyone is invested in it and does their part to compromise and move forward.