If you’re getting divorced, you might consider hiring a divorce mediator in Skokie IL. If so, you aren’t alone. Every year, thousands of couples choose this path over litigation. Divorce mediation can actually save people time, money, and stress compared to traditional divorce proceedings. However, it’s not always easy to navigate. Here are five tips to make your divorce process as smooth as possible.
1 – Be respectful of your ex and the process
Don’t get angry or argue with your ex in front of the mediator. Of course you will disagree, but do so calmly and politely. When you focus on your mutual goals, it can be easy to set aside some of your differences on the little things and move forward. Thinking about the end result can keep you calm and grounded.
Avoid offensive language when talking about your partner. Although they may have hurt you and there still may be some raw feelings, insults will not help the mediation process. If you focus on the future, you can avoid bringing up these old arguments during mediation.
Your divorce mediator in Skokie IL will help you try to stay focused on the end result, which will help your chances of settling everything up front. It will also help to move away from past wrongdoings and disrespectful treatment of or rhetoric towards your former partner.
2 – Be prepared to negotiate
Mediation is a great way to reach an agreement and move forward on the issues that matter most to you. Using mediation, you can negotiate with your spouse to come up with solutions that address your concerns as well as theirs. To get the most out of mediation, negotiations should focus on what is in the best interests of everyone. Be flexible and willing to work together toward a mutually satisfying conclusion.
In order to make the most of your mediator’s time, you’ll want to be prepared to compromise. It’s not a bad thing—it’s a sign of maturity and a willingness to work toward the best outcome for your situation. Compromise can help you avoid litigation, which will save you time and money. While there are always some things that are non-negotiable for one party or another, many issues will allow for some give-and-take on both sides.
That said, your divorce mediator in Skokie IL will help you identify the issues that are most important to you ahead of time so that they don’t come as an unpleasant surprise during mediation (or afterward).
3 – Be prepared to listen
You need to be prepared to listen. In mediation, you’ll have the opportunity to hear your ex’s concerns and opinions on all of the big issues: money, kids, property division, and more.
It may seem like a lot at first, but it’s important that you make an effort to hear what your ex has to say about these things. This is how you will find common ground and how you will find areas where you can compromise.
Everyone wants to be heard. And, when people feel like they are listened to, they are more likely to engage in reasonable negotiations and compromise. Your divorce mediator in Skokie IL will help guide the discussion and ensure all voices and opinions are included, while helping you work towards finalizing an agreement that works for everyone.
4 – Have reasonable expectations
Set your expectations too high, and you’ll be disappointed. Set your expectations too low, and you might miss out on an opportunity. Be reasonable about what is possible for you at this time in your life. If you are currently unemployed or financially strained from being the sole breadwinner of your family for so long, don’t start asking for things like alimony or child support if it isn’t realistic.
You may need to keep certain issues separate from the divorce process until later when things have stabilized a bit more for you or your former partner. You will need to do your homework to know whether or not your expectations are reasonable.
This can’t be stressed enough. List all of your assets, property, and debts. Have financial statements ready for review (present-day, date of separation, and date of marriage – especially if you are claiming a separate property interest). Provide at least three years of tax returns, three months of pay stubs, and evidence of profit or loss if you are self-employed. Create a list of your goals.
For example, is keeping the house a priority? Would you agree to a little less support if you had more custodial time? Would a buyout of spousal support be better than paying a monthly amount? Make a list of all of your expenses. Talk to your divorce mediator in Skokie IL about whether an appraisal of key assets should be performed. In the end, knowing exactly where you stand will help you manage your expectations and work towards reasonable results.
5 – Understand the Mediator’s Role
A divorce mediator in Skokie IL is a neutral third party who assists divorcing spouses with expressing their point of view and perceiving the other spouse’s point of view during divorce settlement negotiations. The mediator is present to ensure a cordial discourse and keep the conversation on track.
The mediator is not present to help you work out past problems with your spouse. Rather, they will focus on your future and what your goals are for the mediation process. The mediator is not on your side or your spouse’s side, the mediator is on the side of the negotiation procedures.
The mediator is acting in everyone’s best interest by keeping the procedures on target. Although they may ask you questions and press you a little on certain issues, they really just want to ensure that you are going to get reasonable results from the process.
Contact our divorce mediator in Skokie IL for a consultation
Divorce mediation can be a very positive experience for both you and your former partner. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, we encourage you to consider this option. Some people even consider it a more respectful way of ending their marriage than going through the court system because everything is handled by two neutral parties rather than one judge who can make decisions without knowing you at all. If you’re ready to take the next step, our divorce mediator in Skokie IL will meet with you to discuss your case.