More and more Oregon couples are choosing to use mediation for their divorces because of the numerous benefits over traditional litigated divorce. Mediation involves negotiating your divorce issues before a neutral third party trained in alternative dispute resolution methods. Ideally, the spouses arrive at an agreement that is manageable for both of them and sustainable for the long-term.
However, mediation does not always work, and some couples end up taking their divorces to court after all. If you are committed to achieving a gentler, more civil divorce through mediation, there are some actions you should avoid.
Make mediation work for you
Agreeing with your spouse to take a different path to divorce is a giant step in the right direction. Not everyone is fortunate to be on the same page as a spouse when it comes to the most stress-free and amicable way of ending a marriage. However, you may unintentionally sabotage the efforts at reaching a fair settlement if you do any of the following:
- Approaching mediation with the attitude of fighting to win instead of reaching a fair compromise
- Failing to appreciate how positive mediation can be when compared to traditional litigated divorce
- Using your children as leverage to get your way
- Taking revenge on your spouse by using his or her triggers to stir up anger or other emotions
- Making false accusations about addiction, infidelity or abuse, or bringing up painful issues unnecessarily to inflict pain or shame
- Remaining passive and refusing to participate in discussions or negotiations
- Failing to make a full and honest disclosure of your assets
Failing to prepare for your meetings is also a mistake that can sabotage your efforts at a successful settlement. Preparation includes having copies of all important financial documents, including income, debts and assets, and investments, among other things. You should also have an idea of what you hope to achieve in your settlement and those items for which you will not give in. Be prepared to have fruitful conversation with your ex and be ready to compromise.
Although the terms of your divorce settlement ultimately come down to what you and your spouse decide, it is important to understand divorce laws in Oregon and your rights throughout the process. This is why many find it valuable to have a skilled attorney in their corner who understands the mediation process and will support your efforts at reaching a peaceful resolution.